Given that Cody Harrel was named the Class 4A state championship game most valuable player just before midnight Friday it seems a little fitting that the subject of the final Monday Morning Quarterback file for 2013 really ought to be about, well, the quarterback.
Harrel was nothing short of phenomenal as the Bearcats beat Warren 14-12 in the Class 4A state title game Friday night, but that isn’t really that unusual.
Still, I was, to be honest, kind of surprised that it was properly noticed since I cannot recall a title game MVP ever going to someone whose name is not in the scoring portion of the box score.
Harrel ran 22 times for 139 yards Friday night. Included is a 45-yard effort that actually became 60 because he was dragged down by his facemask. But it may have been a couple of aerials that won Harrel the MVP plaque. The two passes to tight end Damon May went for 40 yards and were extremely well thrown balls.
Playing his final game, Harrel didn’t get much of a break. He even punted once, for 49 yards dropping it inside the 20 for the fourth time this season.
Had I been in the press box I would have gotten an MVP vote, but because I cannot abide by the "no cheering" rule I took up residence on the sideline, as is the case for almost all non-Bearcat Stadium games. Had I been in the box and know there was a 100-yard game and a pair of touchdowns from fullback Bryson May to consider, it would have been difficult but I would have been hard pressed not to add to Harrel’s vote tally.
Even without scoring aganst Warren Friday Harrel ended the year with 15 rushing touchdowns and 91 total points – he kicked a point after against That Team Up North.
Harrel’s 139 yards Friday gave him 639 rushing yards in the playoffs. To put it in perspective, Harrel had 706 in the regular season. Yes, he missed a game and a quarter of another, but he was on fire from the minute he got back.
With 1,345 rushing yards for the season, Harrel reset the standard for Booneville quarterbacks, edging past the 1,322 Brandon Rowland gained in 1998.
Harrel’s playoff rushing yardages is second only to Allen Ray’s 715 in four games in 1999 but it is far and away the best postseason by a Bearcat quarterback – Derek Davis ran for 439 in four games in 2004.
Friday’s 139 yards also moved Harrel’s career yardage to 3,013 making him the first quarterback in school history to pass the 3,000-yard mark. Again it was Davis he last passed (2,934).
About the only quarterback record Harrel didn’t reset in closing his career was for scoring. Rowland scored 258 points on 42 touchdowns and three two point conversions. Harrel scored 37 touchdowns, made 20 point after tries, ran for six two point conversions and kicked a field goal over the last three years, for 257 total points.