AFTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Chuckey Doak quarterback Matthew Palazzo was honored as WJHL’s player of the week after tossing for over 400 yards and four touchdowns in Friday’s 38-34 come from behind victory over Unicoi County.
Palazzo said the final throw was the biggest play that stood out from the miraculous comeback.
“It was one of those gut-wrenching moments, I was right there, watching that happen, it was like in slow motion and rush pulled that ball out of the defenders hands and the crowd just erupted, it was a crazy moment,” Palazzo said.
The junior gunslinger was excited with how he played, but was proud of how his teammates performed.
“It means a lot to me personally, but I think it means more for this program and seeing that we came back in the fashion that we did and the dog fight that we were in,” Palazzo said.
Head coach Ben Murphy mentioned his quarterback might not have been perfect, but showed great leadership and poise.
“He missed eight in the second half, that’s unacceptable,” Murphy said while laughing. “No, he did a great job. He scrambled, he threw kids open and we ended up scoring three touchdowns in the last six minutes to come from behind and it was just an amazing experience to be a part of.”
The victory moved the Black Knights to 4-3 on the season, marking four wins in the last five games. A big reason for the success is Palazzo’s demeanor, an attribute he’s been working on this season.
“I’ve taken a lot of strides in my leadership, mostly I’ve always been confident in my arm and my legs and ability to make plays, but this year has definitely been my leadership and my poise in the pocket,” Palazzo said.
Murphy echoed his junior quarterback’s words.
“He stands out and he’s a natural leader, kids kind of flock to him, he’s got a great personality,” Murphy said. “In the school hallways, kids talk to him, he’s there for everybody.”
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