Plenty of numbers stand out from Liberty quarterback Kenyon Oblad’s career: 611 completions, 94 touchdowns, 44 starts, 36 victories.
But 84 is the one number the senior can’t help but think about this week.
Oblad is 84 yards shy of setting the state record for career passing yards, as the Patriots (3-1) play at Green Valley (4-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Southeast League opener for both teams.
“I tried not to think about it too much, but when it’s 84 yards away, it’s kind of heavy on your mind,” Oblad said of closing in on the mark of 10,113 yards, set by Bishop Gorman’s Jarrett Solomon from 2009 to 2012. “It’s a very cool accomplishment. It’s going to be something to look back on for the rest of my life. I’m very happy I got the opportunity to do it.”
Green Valley certainly would like to keep Oblad from setting the record. But he has been held to fewer than 100 yards only three times in his career, with two of them during his freshman season.
Liberty lost two of those three games, including a 31-0 setback to American Heritage (Florida) this season when Oblad passed for 70 yards.
Before that, the last time Oblad failed to reach 100 yards was against Green Valley during his freshman season. The Gators also held him to 70 yards, but Oblad and the Patriots prevailed 28-14. He has passed for 250 or more yards 19 times.
“When you get a kid like Kenyon in your program, you’ve got to play to his strengths,” Liberty coach Rich Muraco said. “That’s kind of what we’ve done. We’ve tailored our offense to his strengths. And we kind of go as he goes. If he’s on and the receivers are catching the ball, we’ll score a ton of points. And if he’s not, that’s when we tend to struggle.”
The game could set the tone for the season in the Southeast. Liberty is ranked No. 2 and Green Valley No. 4 in Class 4A.
“The start of league play is always the most important time of the year, because that’s what dictates if you go to the playoffs or not,” Oblad said. “We take it pretty serious. We’ve got Green Valley this week. They’re undefeated. We want to go into their house and beat them pretty good.”
Oblad, who has yet to commit to a college, is aware that this is his final run as a high school quarterback.
“It hit me before the season even started,” he said. “It’s sad. It’s the last time you play against some of these teams and play high school football. But it doesn’t change anything. You’ve got to go out and play your hardest and get the win.”
Whether or not Oblad sets the record this week, Muraco is just glad to have been around for the ride.
“I feel very fortunate that Kenyon came into my life, came into Liberty’s program,” he said. “And it’s been a fun three years, and it’s exciting to see what’s going to end up happening the rest of this year.”
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.
All times 7 p.m.
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