While one former Turlock quarterback wowed the nation in San Francisco on Saturday, another was on the other side of the country doing his best to put in an impressive performance of his own and turn the heads of some college coaches.
One of three play callers for the North Team, former Turlock Christian High quarterback Chase Gonzalez took on the South Team in the annual Blue-Grey National All Star Classic in Tampa Bay, Fla. And although North fell to South, 18-36, Gonzalez’ stats over the short time he was on the field was enough to make the trip a success for the 6-foot-6 Eagle.
“I would have liked to win, but I was just happy to experience it all,” Gonzalez said. “Just being on the sidelines, around the guys cheering for the team who wanted the same thing I wanted, to win the game, was pretty cool. I was totally blessed.”
Due to roster numbers and to split time equally, each quarterback was given a quarter to play. Gonzalez got his shot in the second quarter and made the best of his opportunity. Trailing 7-0, Gonzalez found the end zone on only his second play from under center, connecting with receiver Jeff Richardson on a 60 yard play action pass.
“The first play I got the little butterflies out. Then the second play I threw the touchdown pass,” Gonzalez said. “I started having fun and realized I could compete with these guys.”
“It was cool to be able to execute with people I never played with before,” Gonzalez added.
Several possessions later and Gonzalez found pay dirt again, this time with his legs. After driving the length of the field, the North found itself lined up on the one yard line. Brimming with confidence, Gonzalez had a talk with his coach about how they could put more points on the board.
“We ran the QB sneak with great success in high school, so I told coach I could punch it in there,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez crossed the goal line for his second touchdown, making it 18-12 at the half. Gonzalez got a few more minutes of playing time in the fourth quarter and finished with seven completions on 10 attempts and 134 passing yards as well as 34 rushing yards. He was the highest rated quarterback from the North Team.
“It was a good feeling knowing that the team could trust me and that I could do my job against the South Team defense,” Gonzalez said. “I think I did well enough to boost my exposure a little more.”
Now all Gonzalez can do is sit and wait to see which college teams show interest in his quarterbacking skills. But if his All-Star performance is any indicator of his long term potential, this towering Turlocker shouldn’t have long to wait.
“I was just really happy with the experience,” Gonzalez said. “It was really fun for me; I liked it a lot.”