After one quarter of play in last Friday night’s high school football matchup between East Hall and Chestatee, the Vikings trailed the War Eagles 7-6, and the offense was struggling to get much going.
East Hall needed a spark, so coaches and players alike turned to perhaps their most electric playmaker, Kylan Curry.
Curry lined up as a quarterback in the shotgun to receive a direct snap as a runner, but the ball bounced off his hands and fell to the ground. Curry, looking to avoid a completely negative play, picked the ball up and evaded a few tackles in the backfield.
He scrambled to his right, and then cut back to the left, and his eyes lit up.
“When I first snapped it, I was like, I trust my teammates,” Curry said of the play. “Wherever I go, I trust them. So I was just reading what my teammates were telling me. They were just telling me, ‘Follow me, follow me.”
Curry followed his teammates all the way to the left edge of the field and sprinted his way down the sideline and into the end zone.
“Once I found that hole, I just took it, and I watched them, and they kept on blocking for me,” he said.
The score — which gave the Vikings their first lead of the game — was one of four on the night from Curry, two each on the ground and through the air. He finished the game with 115 rushing yards on just nine carries, and 150 receiving yards on three catches.
But it was the timing of each of Curry’s scores that mattered most on Friday.
The first gave his team its first lead of the night. The second — an 18-yard rush, took the lead back after a Chestatee touchdown tied it at 14. The third came just one play after Chestatee cut East Hall’s lead to one score in the third quarter, pushing the Viking lead back to a comfortable 14 points.
The fourth iced the game.
With five minutes left to play, Chestatee quarterback Christian Charles tossed a touchdown to Seth Pressley to get within one score. The War Eagles trailed 49-41, but momentum had turned in their favor. With the game on the line, Curry’s teammates turned to him one last time.
“Everybody told me, ‘Come on K. Give me one more,’” Curry said. “And I told them I got you.”
A few plays later, Curry was catching a short pass out in the flat and winning a foot race down the left sideline. The score came from 78 yards out, and finished off East Hall’s first win of the season.
And while Curry showed up big on the stat sheet, East Hall head coach Scott Patrick said his impact on his teammates may have been even greater. For that, he is the Times football player of the week.
“With [Curry’s] leadership, the whole team started playing better,” Patrick said.
East Hall will get a bye this week before starting its region slate on Sept. 21 against Greater Atlanta Christian. And if the Vikings want to make any noise in region 7-3A this season, they’re going to need Curry to be at his best.
“He’s bought in,” Patrick said. “He’s played lights out every game. I’m proud of him.”