DeMuro demure about record

Athens Drive quarterback sets state mark for pass completions in a game

Staff WriterOctober 9, 2007 

Athens Drive quarterback Nick DeMuro had no idea Monday morning he had set the state record for pass completions in a game on Friday.

DeMuro completed a state-record 35 of 54 passes for 565 yards.

His 565 passing yards in the 49-21 victory over Fuquay-Varina is No. 2 all-time on the North Carolina list, and his 54 attempts is No. 4.

All of which left DeMuro a little underwhelmed.

His reaction to having completed more passes in a game than any other N.C. high school player since leather helmets first were strapped on?

"I didn't know," he said. "I knew we threw a lot."

But how does it feel now?

"I have a lot of weapons," he said, referring to his receivers. "And I've got a great O-line. We've got a really good coaching staff."

If it seems that DeMuro is not really wrapped up in throwing for a lot of yards and completing a lot of passes to pad his resume, you'd be right.

What does it mean to him to complete so many passes?

"It means we got a lot of first downs," he said. "I try to complete passes. But getting the record feels good."

Jaguars coach Jeff Smouse said DeMuro's performance was atypical of many passing records.

"You see a lot of passing records set in losses or against teams that aren't too good," said Smouse, who developed exceptional passing games at Greensboro Grimsley and Lumberton before arriving at Athens Drive in 2005.

"But Fuquay has a great defense. We had to throw because they stuffed us at the line whenever we tried to run. We tried to run early and we tried to run late, and we just couldn't."

Athens Drive (7-0, 3-0 Tri-Eight) attempted 23 rushes in the game for a total of 49 yards.

Smouse said DeMuro has worked physically and mentally to become a better quarterback than last year, when he passed for 2,961 yards and 26 touchdowns.

"He has paid the price for success," Smouse said. "He is quicker and stronger and reads defenses better. He has made himself into a good quarterback."

One key against Fuquay-Varina was DeMuro's ability to find receivers quickly. In Smouse's offense, one receiver is "hot" and is available for short dump-off passes if the defense is applying pressure.

"Nick did a good job reading the defense and dumping the ball," Smouse said. "He also checked off [changing the play at the line] on a couple of his touchdowns. He also has good some good receivers. There were some hellacious catches. Four or five were unbelievable."

T.J. Kornegay led the Jaguars receivers with 13 catches for 249 yards on Friday. He leads the state with 50 catches for 1,061 yards this season.

Phillip Barren had eight catches for 99 yards Friday and has 43 receptions for 706 yards this season.

DeMuro and Smouse said they were surprised Athens Drive was able to win so handily against a Bengals defense that had allowed only 31 points in its first six games.

And Smouse expects the Jaguars to be tested again this week against a 2-5 Lee County squad.

"Two years ago, we were both 2-5 going into the game," Smouse recalled. "Lee beat us 56-28, won six straight and made the state semifinals.

"Lee has averaged 59 points against us the last couple of years. We certainly are going down there expecting a tough game.

"Our offense will try to take what we can. Sometimes we can throw it and sometimes we can run it. We're best when we can do a little bit of both."

tim.stevens@newsobserver.com or (919) 829-8910

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