September 20, 2010

Sills, eighth-grade QB phenom, off to solid start

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He threw his first high school touchdown pass last weekend. Three, in fact.

He threw his first interception, too.

And he picked up yet another fan.

It may be years before it's determined if Bear (Del.) Red Lion Christian Academy quarterback David Sills lives up to the hype of verbally committing to Southern California as a 13-year-old wunderkid, but two games into his high school career, the now eighth-grader is showing the skills that earned him the attention.

Friday night in Glenolden, Pa., Sills went 7-for-14 for 205 yards and those three TDs and one interception as Red Lion defeated Prospect Park (Pa.) Interboro, 41-27.

Red Lion got two late rushing touchdowns to put the game away, but afterward a lot of the talk was about Sills.

"That quarterback is good," Interboro head coach Steve Lennox told the Delaware County Times. "He's real good."

Red Lion coach Eric Day was pleased with Sills' progress.

"He looked great," Day told "He managed the game very well."

He appears to be managing the expectations, too.

Sills went 10-for-16 for 164 yards in Red Lion's season-opening triumph - a game that was more about him than football. (See Prep Rally's blog on the event)

Afterward, Sills said he was just happy to have his debut behind him.

"I was a little nervous at first, but toward the end of the first quarter my nerves started to settle down," he said.

Against Interboro, the now 14 years old but already 6-1, 160-pounder showed the poise that made quarterback guru Steve Clarkson dub him the next big thing. (See his internet video below)

Sills' first touchdown pass was a 75-yarder to Jahmere Irvin in the second quarter. (21:55 of second video stream) Sills lofted a nice pass that hit Irvin in stride on the 40. Irvin then broke a tackle and went in for the score.

Sills added a 5-yard pass to Wendell Smallwood before halftime. His final TD pass was a nifty 39-yard effort to Irvin with four seconds left in the third quarter.

He's now a solid 17-for-30 for 365 yards and three TDs and one interception on the season.

Eighth-graders are not allowed to play high school sports in all states, but in the ones they are, it is not uncommon from them to succeed if not star.

Last fall, eighth-grader Sony Michel (profiled here by RivalsHigh) ran for 1,825 yards and 18 touchdowns for Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage. He was leading rusher in football-fanatical Broward County.

Michel, however, has been able to run through the holes but outside of much of the spotlight.

That's something Sills is no longer able to do after making national headlines by verbally committing to Southern Cal as a seventh-grader.

The commitment is non-binding. In fact, Sills can't sign a letter of intent until 2015. Whether he eventually goes to USC remains to be seen. In fact, some wonder if he'll eventually end up at another high school where the competition level is higher.

It will be something for high school football fans to watch in the coming years. And if this young season is an indicator, there figure to be plenty of eyes on David Sills.

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