Elliot Excelling in New Role
Pictured: Zion Grizzard(#5) and Lane Elliot(#10) | Photo courtesy of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
A role model can make all the difference for a young athlete. Falkner senior quarterback Lane Elliott loves to watch former Ole Miss, and current Denver Broncos, quarterback Chad Kelly.
Elliot has long wanted to play the same position as Kelly, but has primarily served as a defender throughout his career at Falkner. This fall, however, he's taken over the quarterback duties and dazzled fans all across North Mississippi. Some of that could be credited to the similarities he sees in his and Kelly’s game.
“We’ve both got arm strength, accuracy, and the deep ball,” Elliott told SES Mississippi. “He’s a gunslinger and has a cannon. And he has ton of confidence in his arm. He’s proven the doubters wrong, he’s a competitor, he’s a hard worker and he’ll beat anybody (in Denver QB competition).”
Through two games this season he’s already tossed seven touchdowns, while completing 71% of his passes. In a one-point season opening loss to East Union he racked up 257 passing yards and three scores on just 24 attempts. Last Friday night he needed only 12 completions to add another 273 yards and four scores.
But success at his new position didn’t come overnight and it isn’t an accident. His personality makes him a natural fit, but his offseason preparation has helped him reach success early in the season.
“I love the role of being the leader,” Elliott noted. “Finally just knowing I would be the guy I put tons of work in the weight room and with footwork. And to getting out everyday with the receivers and throwing routes,
“Coach Priest, our offensive coordinator, has put a lot of work into making every play work. I just go out an don’t put any pressure on myself an just have fun. I just have a lot of confidence in my arm and in my teammates.”
As most teams are at this time of year, the Eagles are figuring out what is going to make things work for them this seasons. The offense has been spectacular on the ground and through their air. That’s equated to 32 and 50 points, respectively, in their first two games. However, the defense has struggled a bit, giving up 33 and 34 points, in those two contests.
One thing is noticeably different about this year’s team for Falkner, though, according to Elliot.
“We’ve got really good chemistry this year. That’s something we just haven’t had in the past,” He said. “This is the most fun I’ve had in my four years of high school. I believe you could ask any player and they would tell you that because it’s about loving one another around here and not hating another team.”
“The team as a whole is really good. The defense has had its struggles, but is steadily improving. A lot of it is mental and that’s really improving. Our strength is when we have the ball, we can run any play and it’s gonna gain positive yards because nobody knows what’s coming.”
Looking ahead, Elliott isn’t worried about keeping his current pace statistically but instead he’s wants to help his team earn some more wins.
The way they’re doing that, he says, is by taking things one play at a time and trying to just go 1-0 each week, instead of focusing on the season as a whole.
“If we focus on that, we will get the overall results at the end of he season,” Elliott said.
This week Falkner hosts Marshall academy.