Walker Valley quarterback Kolten Gibson, shown handing off to running back Alex King during the Mustangs' Aug. 18 game against Bradley Central, set school records for passing yards and total offense in their win Friday against Cleveland. (Photo: Doug Strickland /Times Free Press)
Kolten Gibson has had good games this football season, and he's been relatively consistent.
The Walker Valley junior quarterback turned it up a notch Friday.
"He was lights out," Mustangs coach Glen Ryan said. "We were on edge the whole week and that was such a big game for us to get through. It comes down to players have to play, and our players did a good job."
Gibson did more than a good job. He had a hand in eight of the Mustangs' touchdowns in a 68-36 Region 4-5A victory over in-county rival Cleveland. He ran for three scores and a 2-point conversion and was 27-for-37 for 420 passing yards and five touchdowns, plus a 2-point toss.
"I've seen him have good games, but that's the most yards he's thrown for," Ryan said of the Waffle House All-Star player of the week chosen by the Times Free Press.
Gibson also had a sensational, put-it-all-together game against Ooltewah to end the 2015 season.
"Against Ooltewah, as good as they were defensively last year, he was cool, calm, smooth, collected," Ryan said.
"Stats-wise, it might not have been as good, but what he did in that game was special. Friday night was special, too."
Four of the TD passes were split between Bryce Nunnelly and Cooper Melton, and Zeke Westfield caught the fifth.
"That's his best passing night, but he also ran for close to 100 yards," Ryan pointed out.
Gibson's 92 rushing yards (12 carries) gave him 512 yards of total offense.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder's completion rate was 72.9 percent.
"He was completing all the passes — short, medium, long — and he had some quick screens but also the long-range pass as well as some mid-range to get first downs," Ryan said.
The 420 passing yards and the 512 total offense yards are school records as well as the team's 68 points.
"I think he has most all of the school passing records — season and career," Ryan said of Gibson. "He just keeps getting better and more comfortable. He's understanding the offense, the coverages and zone reads."
Ryan said he keeps telling recruiters that he has a junior quarterback who's special.
"They're mostly writing his name down. He has to get a little thicker, but he's durable now," the coach added.
› Bryce Nunnelly, Walker Valley: The UTC commitment caught 12 passes for 205 yards with two TDs in the Mustangs’ win over Cleveland.
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