State player of the year Prosser QB Kellen Moore
Ten days after his record-setting career ended two wins short of the state championship he so badly wanted, Kellen Moore could have taken...
Special to The Seattle Times
Ten days after his record-setting career ended two wins short of the state championship he so badly wanted, Kellen Moore could have taken a break from football.
The Prosser quarterback could have put the game he grew up with aside, content that he had a scholarship to Boise State. Content that he had just finished one of the best high-school careers in state history.
Instead, Tom Moore, Kellen's father and Prosser's football coach, came home last week to find his son in front of the TV watching a three-day-old college-football game. Studying offenses, reading defenses, soaking it all in.
Kellen Moore is a football junkie. The son of a coach, and a quarterback most of his life, he can't get enough. And because of that, Moore possesses an absurd amount of football knowledge for an 18-year-old.
It's what allows him to call most of the plays in Prosser's high-octane, no-huddle offense. What allows him to read defenses like a college quarterback.
It's the reason he completed 71.9 percent of his passes this season and is coming off back-to-back record-setting seasons. The reason he has completed more passes and thrown for more touchdowns than anyone in state history.
And it's why Moore is The Seattle Times' State Player of the Year for football.
MVP: Marshall Lobbestael, Oak Harbor
Coach: Dave Ward, Oak Harbor
MVP: Nate Williams, Kennedy
Coach: Bob Bourgette, Kennedy
MVP: Kellen Moore, Prosser
Coach: Curt Kramme, Lynden
MVP: Tyler Slesk, Meridian
Coach: Bob Ames, Meridian
MVP: Lawrence Cacchiotti, La Salle of Yakima
Coach: Sal Lopez, Asotin
MVP: Joe Campbell, Tri-Cities Prep
Coach: Jim Sandusky, Lummi
Compiled by Seattle Times assistant sports editor Don Shelton with input from Times staff.
"It's what he does every day when he comes home," said Tom Moore of his son's study sessions. "On any given day, we have 30 or 40 college games TiVoed."
Each game is a chance to learn something new about the game he loves so much. A chance to see how another quarterback reads defenses.
"I think it's a huge advantage," said Kellen Moore of his study habits. "Watching other guys play, whether it's high school, college or NFL, you can learn from that. Every quarterback does things a little differently, and you watch them and understand what they're doing, and it helps you understand yourself. You see the field better and figure out what all 22 guys are doing."
At an age when most kids wanted money for a new toy or video game, Moore just wanted to watch more football.
"For Christmas and birthdays, he'd ask for money so he could buy college and NFL game tapes," said Craig Beverlin, Tom Moore's longtime friend and Kellen's godfather. "The kid just loves football. In terms of strategy and X's and O's, I would put him up against a lot of college coaches. He's as sharp as I've seen at that age."
Beverlin has coached football for 35 years at the college and high-school level, including the last 20 at Kamiakin in Kennewick. By his count, he has coached against seven future NFL quarterbacks in high school or college, including four-time Pro Bowler Drew Bledsoe, when he played at Walla Walla High.
And Beverlin is far from alone in praising Moore. Asked about the Prosser quarterback before the season started, Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff had this to say of Moore, who at 6 feet 1, 180 pounds, is considered too small by some so-called experts:
"If I were recruiting quarterbacks in the area, he'd be at the top of my list. The guy is the real deal, and I think he can be great in college."
After a record-breaking junior season, Moore found a way to be even better this year, increasing his completion percentage while throwing for more touchdowns and fewer interceptions.
He threw 67 touchdown passes this year — breaking the record of 66 he set a year ago — while being intercepted only seven times. In 2005, he also set season records with 317 completions and 4,600 yards. His 787 career completions and 173 touchdowns are state records, and his 11,367 career yards ranks second all-time.
"He knows what he's talking about when it comes to offenses," said Cody Bruns, a junior receiver who has broken several state records catching passes from Moore. "He's one of a kind in that area. That [studying] helps him on the field."
Despite the records and recognition, Moore wishes he could have played the game he loves one more time in a Prosser uniform.
"It's tough to end the way we did," said Moore, who threw five touchdown passes in Prosser's Class 2A semifinal loss to Centralia. "You're stuck with that ending and it sort of lingers for a while."
|Passing the leaders|
|Kellen Moore of Prosser has set five state high-school passing records:|
|* State records|