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Football Player of the Week: Riverside Military's Collin Pettell

Eagles QB passed for 338 yards, 5 TDs in win over Social Circle

POSTED: October 22, 2013 10:04 p.m.

Collin Pettell has made a quick ascent to becoming a prolific passer, and more importantly a trusted leader, as quarterback for Riverside Military.

On Friday, he put together a flawless effort for the Eagles (3-4, 2-3 Region 8-AA), completing all 10 pass attempts for 338 yards and five touchdowns in a 56-14 region win against Social Circle.

“Collin played very well against Social Circle,” Riverside Military coach Gary Downs said. “He was efficient, accurate and really ran our offense to a T.”

For his efforts, Pettell is The Times Football Player of the Week.

For the season, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Pettell, who is in his third year at Riverside Military, has completed 51 of 75 throws for 10 touchdowns and 1,100 yards. The Eagles’ coach said that Pettell’s most impressive throw against the Redskins was a 40-yard pass on a hitch-and-go route that hit junior C.J. Howard caught in stride for a 70-yard score.

Junior Raleigh Beougher also had a big night with 211 yards and three touchdown catches for Riverside Military.

“We practiced all week to spread out the field and it really all clicked for us in the game,” said Pettell, who credited the offensive line for his performance.

Those numbers for the Riverside Military quarterback are a direct result of starting over from scratch after playing extensively the past couple seasons at the position, but not earning the starting job out of summer camp in 2013.

Frustrated that he was beaten out by Avery Cagle for the starting quarterback job, Pettell expressed interest in playing another position, Downs said. The original agreement was that Pettell was going to jump in and play at wide receiver and also on defense.

“Collin moped a little early on, but came to me and said he just wanted to get in there and play,” Downs said.
However, Cagle went down with a shoulder injury in Game 2 against Georgia Military. That opened the door for Pettell to get back in at quarterback, which is exactly what he’s done.

“Collin’s attitude has been great,” Downs said.

Pettell was named one of Riverside Military’s four team captains by Downs earlier this month.

With three games, two in region play, remaining in the season, Pettell knows that making the playoffs is a longshot. The Eagles are half a game back of Rabun County, which also has head-to-head advantage against Riverside Military, for fourth place in the region with just a couple weeks remaining. The Wildcats also have a much more favorable schedule down the stretch.

However, that hasn’t slowed Pettell’s enthusiasm for the final games of his high school career.

After a non-region game at Glascock County on Friday, the Eagles wrap up the regular season against defending Class AA state champion Jefferson (5-2, 3-1) on Nov. 1 at Maginnis Field, then a trip to Greene County (2-5, 1-3) on Nov. 8 in Greensboro.

With good production in 2013 and ideal size for a quarterback, Pettell would like to continue playing football at the next level, even though baseball has always been his first love. The right-handed pitcher spent the first part of the week visiting college campuses, including Georgia Southern and Armstrong Atlantic, to get a feel for their baseball programs. If possible, he’d love the opportunity to become a two-sport athlete in college.


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