Football is a team game. The guys that play the quarterback position reap most of the glory. And the smart ones know without an offensive line to protect them and without skill-position players that can catch a pass they are worthless.
That concept has never been lost on one of Long Island’s greatest quarterbacks of all time, Sayville senior Jack Coan. He set Long Island career records for total yards passing and touchdown passes in last week’s 42-0 win over West Babylon in a Suffolk III game.
Coan completed 14 of 19 passes for 186 yards and four touchdowns in the win. For his accomplishments, Coan has been named Newsday’s Athlete of the Week.
“The team concept has never been lost on Jack,” Sayville coach Rob Hoss said. “He’s all about the team. He has all the leadership qualities of a true winner.”
Coan, who has committed to play football at Wisconsin, led Sayville to a Suffolk III title and a Long Island Class III championship appearance in the past two years. Last season, he led the Golden Flashes to a 59-15 win over Plainedge in the championship game.
He began this season with three-year career totals of 7,625 passing yards and 97 touchdown passes. He surpassed all-time leader Joe Capobianco of Lawrence (2011-2013) in both categories last weekend. Coan now has 7,811 yards passing and 101 scoring passes.
“I’ve learned quite a bit from the coaches over the years,” Coan said. “I’ve learned to make adjustments, be more patient and take what the defense gives me. But it all starts up front with our lines and over the years I’ve been fortunate to have some great line play.”
Coan was sacked four times in the opener but didn’t turn the ball over and didn’t force passes. He completed his first six passes of 2016, including touchdown strikes of 25 yards to Michael Dionisio and 49 yards to Ashton Bradley.
He has extremely good composure in the pocket and was rewarded for that patience as his receivers found openings in the secondary.
“It’s interesting how Jack manages the game,” Hoss said. “We rely on him for that because we have four new offensive linemen and we had some breakdowns. Some of those breakdowns were on the receivers, forcing Jack to hold the ball a little longer.”
Hoss said Coan’s understanding of defensive alignments and strategies are so valuable to the growth and maturity of Sayville’s inexperienced offensive line.
“Jack knows how to win,” Hoss said. “He helped the front succeed and identify the defensive alignments and where the defense was planning to go. It’s like this, Jack Coan protects the line as much as they protect him.”
Coan played three quarters and with the Golden Flashes comfortably ahead stood on the sideline for the fourth quarter.
“The records are a reflection on our entire program and all the hard work that everyone puts in from the coaches to every player on our team,” he said. “The ultimate goal here is not to set individual records but to become the first Sayville team in history to win back-to-back Long Island championships.”