09/03/09 — Gurganus leading prolific Princeton offense

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Gurganus leading prolific Princeton offense

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on September 3, 2009 1:46 PM

David Gurganus never imagined when he left Charles B. Aycock during his junior season that he would end up being the starting quarterback at Princeton.

He also never imagined leading the state in passing yards or etching his name among the nation's top signal callers. Just two games into the 2009 season, Gurganus has accomplished all three feats.

"When I came here I didn't even know if I was going to be the quarterback," said Gurganus. "It was a situation where the coaches made it an open competition and it turned out that I got the opportunity to be the starter."

Dylan Myers held down the quarterback spot last season, but has accepted his role within the team's offense in 2009.

"That was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make as a coach," said Dawgs head coach Russell Williamson. "To Dylan's credit, he has been a great teammate and he is willing to help this team win any way he can. We are still putting in some things to get him more involved in what we're trying to do offensively."

Princeton is off to a 2-0 start.

Gurganus established numerous career records for completions (26), attempts (46), yards (359) and touchdown passes (4) in a 19-point triumph over North Moore. A week earlier, he threw for 272 yards against Hobbton.

The video game-style numbers only underlie Gurganus' importance to the Princeton offense.

Sound decision making has been paramount in the Dawgs' scheme and so far Gurganus has tossed five touchdowns and just one interception. Of course, the soft-spoken and modest quarterback shares the success with his offensive line, too.

""I am so thankful for the line that I have," said Gurganus. "Those guys are always willing to pick each other up and they make each other better. The offense is based on reads and finding the right guy.

"I have to know when to try to make a big play, when to check down and when to tuck it and run."

Williamson made it clear that the team's offensive prowess is a direct reflection of its sound defensive play. The senior-laden Dawgs have built a defensive unit on tackling and creating turnovers.

After falling behind North Moore early, the PHS defense stiffened and set up its offense for a comeback.

"Those guys don't get the stats, but they have done a good job of setting our offense up in some good positions," said Williamson. "Our backs and receivers have played really well and the statistics speak for themselves, but the defense has been pretty good too."

Entering this week's game at Dixon, Williamson is stressing execution to both units. Not buying into any of the hype surrounding back-to-back wins will be a key to staying hungry throughout a strong non-conference slate.

"We don't have to look to far in the past to see what it's like on the other end of the spectrum at 0-2," said Williamson. "I think our guys will stay hungry because they can see where we want to be and they all know where we have been."