Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
That affable, self-effacing and unassuming Ty Fox?
The one who graciously posed with friends and fans for photographs on Friday night at Dutch Meyer Field?
He's an absolute terror on the gridiron.
Just ask Thurston, which was haunted by the Crater senior quarterback and his crew all night long.
Fox passed for a career-high seven touchdowns as the Comets destroyed the clumsy Colts, 63-34, in Southwest Conference action.
The win was Crater's first of the year, and the Comets earned it their way, conjuring more firepower than a Michael Bay film.
Crater's star signal caller finished 26 of 45 for 392 yards and one interception (a pick-six). His touchdown throws were for 26, 13, 19, 15, 35, 45 and 28 yards.
Senior receiver Kory Bennett was marvelous with 10 catches for 159 yards and three touchdowns, and junior Dylan Morgan made eight receptions for 133 and two TD grabs.
"We've got the best community around and we kinda felt like we've let them down so far this season," Crater head coach John Beck said. "But it's not where you start, it's where you finish that counts."
When the smoke cleared, Fox — who led the state in passing entering Friday's contest — was pleasantly surprised by his exploits.
"Really? I didn't even know I threw seven," he said when told the news. "I was just out there having fun with the boys. That is awesome."
Oh, and Ty, did you know you completed 19 of your 30 passes for 265 yards and five touchdown passes in the first half? And that you had four TD strikes after the first quarter?
"Oh wow," he said. "Really? That is awesome!"
The scariest part? Fox could have had more. Three deftly placed throws were dropped in the end zone, and a TD pass was called back because of a penalty.
"That would have been nice to get those," Fox said. "Hey, but things happen. It's all good."
Things certainly worked out better for Crater, despite its own troubles. The Comets (1-6, 1-4 SWC) allowed 541 yards (including 249 rushing), but the Colts (1-6, 1-4 SWC) gave up 527 (including 421 passing) and made seven turnovers (including four interceptions for quarterback Brendin Quinn).
The Comets owned a 28-7 advantage after the first quarter, but exited intermission in a tight one, leading 35-28.
The intrigue didn't last long.
Bennett hauled in a 45-yard TD strike from Fox in stride with 9:30 to go in the third quarter.
"It is nice to have the top quarterback and you're a receiver," Bennett said. "It makes stuff easy."
A few drives later, Crater linebacker Carlos Higuera came up big with two sacks and then an interception. On the Comets' ensuing drive, Davey McCollum erupted for a 33-yard scoring sprint.
Just like that, Crater led 49-28 with a minute remaining in the third.
Crater added to the Colts' misery seconds later: defensive back Austin Richmond picked off Quinn on the very first play of the following drive and ran it back 30 yards for a score.
Fox tossed his seventh bomb of the night when he found Morgan for a 28-yard TD reception with 8:18 to go in the fourth, providing the Comets a 63-28 edge.
McCollum earlier had an interception for Crater, which helped set up Fox's 15-yard TD pass to Bennett to end the first quarter.
Richmond's first interception came on Thurston's opening play of the second quarter, but Fox failed to capitalize after throwing a pick of his own. Kurtis Stewart snagged it and raced 12 yards to the end zone with 11:42 left in the second.
Suffice it to say, that unlucky moment for the Comets was long forgotten by game's end.
"Everybody just clicked like we should have been earlier in the season," Fox said. "And the O-line was magnificent. They gave me a lot of time to make my plays and go through my reads and get it done. Hats off to them. They have been busting their butts all year."
Quinn finished 28 of 45 for 286 yards with two TD passes. He carried the ball 20 times for 81 yards and a score.
Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him online at facebook.com/danjonesmt