By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
Pascagoula’s Stacey Warren has been called “a jack of all trades” by his coach, Lewis Simms.
Warren, a senior, started the season at linebacker and recorded 23 tackles, two for losses, in the Panthers’ first three games.
He’s also played running back, wide receiver and safety during his high school football career.
“He’s a team player,” Simms said. “He’s played where we needed him. He was the designated hitter on our state championship baseball team.”
In Saturday’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Gridiron Classic Class 5A state champ-ionship game against Starkville, Warren will be the starting quarterback for the Panthers. He took over the signal-caller’s spot in the season’s fourth game, after starter Andrew Dunn was sidelined with a broken hand.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Warren entered the 2012 season as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart. He was the team’s backup QB year, so it’s not an unfamiliar role.
“I played a little quarterback as a sophomore,” Warren said, then smiled. “I knew the offense from being the backup last year. I was the third quarterback this year … just in case.
“It’s all worked out.”
Warren has completed 71 of 154 passes for 957 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. He has rushed for 809 yards on 123 carries and scored seven TDs.
He has rushed for 319 yards and passed for 177 yards in the Panthers’ back-to-back playoff victories against Division 4 rivals Picayune and Pearl River Central.
When it comes to dictating field position, Pascagoula has a valuable weapon in another senior, punter/kicker Grant Warren.
He has averaged 43.7 yards per punt this season and recorded 17 touchbacks on 47 kickoff attempts. He has also kicked a 53-yard field goal.
“He does what we ask him to do,” Simms said. “He’s been very valuable to us this season.”