Dual-threat QB key for VikesPublished 5:03pm Tuesday, December 10, 2013
PLYMOUTH — In his 20-plus years at Plymouth High School Robert Cody has coached a lot of quarterbacks, but none have had the combined skills of Malik Webb.
Over the years the Vikings have consistently run the wing-T offense – or some variation of it – which calls for the QB to be more of a facilitator than a gunslinger.
That changed a bit last season, thanks to undersized quarterback Sharmontez Ferebee’s big arm. Ferebee helped guide Plymouth to a 15-1 record last season and went 3-7 for 123 yards to lead the Vikings to a 20-15 victory over Murphy in the NCHSAA 1-A state title game.
Consider Webb to be the next generation model of Ferebee. At 6’2”, 175 pounds, the junior passer stands tall in the pocket, but has the backbreaking speed and athleticism that drives defensive coordinators crazy.
On the season, Webb has galloped for 997 yards on only 54 carries, while completing 42 of his 65 attempts for 840 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Webb, who also plays corner, has always had the speed, but thanks to his work with Cody, a former quarterback, and QB coach Alan Swain, he has made great strides in the passing game.
“The biggest way he has grown is in his ability to pass,” Cody said. “He always been a nifty runner and good athletically … But he’s gotten to the point where he can look at the whole field: first receiver, second receiver and third receiver.”
Webb’s vision was on full display last Friday during the Vikings 50-13 victory over Lejeune in the East Regional round of the playoffs.
Down for the first time all postseason thanks to a Lejeune trick play on the first drive of the game, Plymouth faced a third-and-long situation at its own 46 on the ensuing possession.
Webb took the snap out of the shotgun formation and found himself under heavy pressure. The junior first scrambled to his right, where he was met by a defender. As he turned to his left, he found a few more Devilpups hot on his heels.
Webb’s feet bought him just enough time to reverse his field one more time and spot Chad Dance deep down the right sideline, and with a flick of a wrist he launched a 34-yard pass to extend the drive and eventually score a touchdown.
“He took the snap and a Lejeune guy got past that first block,” Cody said. “So he stepped up and was going to turn the other way, but he saw four more players. Then he spun around and turned to the other sideline and threw it 30-something yards for a first down. That’s pretty darn-garn good. That was a big play in the game.”
This Saturday Plymouth (14-0) will once again battle Murphy (12-3) for a state championship, and when the two teams meet up at BB&T Field at 11 a.m. in Winston-Salem, there’s no doubt quarterback play will be a big factor in deciding who wins the rematch.
“It’s not going to be any different than it was last year,” Cody said. “For us to win a state championship our quarterback has to perform, especially when throwing the ball.”