Seymour's Nick Sexton playing smart

Oct. 10, 2013 @ 12:37 PM

Nick Sexton isn’t making mistakes.

The Seymour senior quarterback, now in his second year as a full-time starter, is among the best quarterbacks in the Inter Mountain Athletic Conference. He also may be one of the smartest.

“I’m just playing a lot smarter,” Sexton said. “As coach (Scott) Branton would say, being needy and not greedy. I’m just taking what the defense gives me, not trying to make a big play, not trying to hit the home run every play.

“You play smart and it all works out.”

In six games, the senior has 11 touchdowns with just one interception. He threw 11 interceptions each of the last two years.

His completion percentage is better, too, closing in on 60 percent. He’s averaged over 200 yards passing every time he steps on the field. The Eagles will need those kind of numbers out of their quarterback tonight when Sevier County comes to town for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Seymour coach Jim Moore said it’s a combination of maturity and experience that has Sexton playing so well. That interception number has a lot to do with football intelligence, but, like a pitcher in the midst of a no-hitter, Moore didn’t want to discuss it too much.

“So far, it’s one of those things where you don’t want to talk about it right now,” Moore said. “So far things are going well with him. He’s doing a good job of putting the ball where it needs to be put, getting rid of it when it needs to be gotten rid of.”

Sexton’s smart play came after an exhaustive summer when he attended eight different camps, including one at Duke University. His dad, David Sexton, said his son got feedback on some mechanical issues with his arm. The quarterback said he also picked up some more of that football intelligence.

“Just knowledge of the game,” Nick Sexton said. “Knowing defenses, recognizing what I’m throwing against, recognizing what my plays are being run against. ... Just being smart all around and not just being able to make my read and trying to read between that but knowing before the ball’s snapped where probabby I’m going to be reading, where the ball’s probably being thrown. Just being smart with what the defense gives me.”

Junior receiver Braxton Dockery said his quarterback is making smarter decisions this fall. 

“He’s always had the skill to do it,” Dockery said. “Last year he kind of wanted the big play. This year he’s matured and calmed down. He’s got the short passes and just worries about moving the ball more.”

All that weekend traveling this summer seems to have paid off for Sexton. His father said Sexton has done a “whole lot better” this season and been more active as a leader.

That was evident in the Eagles’ first game when Sexton willed his team to a remarkable 35-32 victory at Sullivan North. He threw for 290 yards and five touchdowns in the win.

“It was exciting to watch as a parent,” David Sexton said. “You’re proud of them when you know what they’re capable of and they go out there and they perform that way. He’s real conscientious about wanting to do well for the school and community, not just for himself and his mom and dad, but the whole community.”