Amherst County is in control of their own destiny to make the playoffs and took a big step in the right direction last week with their win over E.C. Glass. D.A. Christian had his best performance of his short football career in the Lancers' win, which has earned him Player of the Week honors.
D.A. Christian has long been a stand-out athlete on the baseball diamond, leading the Lancers to the State Semifinals this past Spring. Last Fall though, he decided to add another sport to his athletic resume, and try his luck at football.
D.A. Christian, FFE Player of the Week, "Just thought I'd try it out and just happened to be good at it."
Cecil Phillips, Amherst Head Coach, "He decided just to come out on his own and we obviously didn't turn him away and utilized him as a wide receiver last year and he did a pretty good job for us last year and then this year, he really matured a great deal. He had a phenominal baseball season and reaped several benefits and awards in that sport and I think that helped build his overall self confidence."
That confidence came through in a big way last Friday, resulting in a 52- 34 win for the Lancers, keeping their post-season hopes alive. Christian had nearly 400 yards of total offense, running for 3 touchdowns, throwing for one, and then returning a kickoff 78 yards for yet another touchdown. And while he was responsible for much of his team's offensive production, he was quick to share the spotlight.
D.A. Christian, "It's not all just me. I gotta give credit to the line. I had wide open holes. I just hit them hard and made some good plays off of it."
Cecil Phillips, "The thing that makes it extra special is the fact that he's able to contribute specifically on offense but more importantly gave us a huge spark with a kick-off return when we really needed one and that kind of took the wind out from underneath their wings so to speak. So an all-around great performance."
Christian made the shift from wide receiver to quarterback this season, and early in the year was asked to focus just on offense and special teams to maximize his abilities there.
Cecil Phillips, "It's been a good move for us. He's provided a huge offensive spark when we've needed one. It gives us an extra player on the offensive side of the ball that has the threat to take it to the endzone when he has his hands on it so not only can we threaten both flanks but we can threaten the interior with him as well so you gotta account for him where ever he's at."
D.A. Christian, "It's been good and rough at the same time. Knowing all the plays from wide receiver to quarterback is a key thing for the pass and just knowing what the defense is doing at the same time brings it all together."
In just his second season on the Lancers football team, Christian has gotten exponentially better, drawing-on some lessons from the diamond and a lot of natural ability.
D.A. Christian, "Hustle. Everything I do is hustle. Keep your head up. People see you get down, they get down too. Just stay positive."
Cecil Phillips, "Just the athleticism and the speed and the threat that he possesses back there not only with his feet but he's got a tremendous arm. He can throw the ball about 65-70 yards and that comes from baseball as well. He can throw about a 90 mph fast ball. Overall he's just getting better as the season progresses, becoming more comfortable with what we're doing and it's showing out there on the field."