FARMINGTON — One word came up every time Farmington High football coach Gary Bradley spoke about Jacob Lucas this season: leader.
On Saturday, Lucas was just that, and he came up with the biggest play for the Scorpions in 61 years when he completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Reynolds for the only score in the FHS 7-0 victory against Goddard in the 4A state title game.
"He's strong and smart and coachable. Just all the things you have to have as a quarterback," Bradley said.
Lucas was glad to have that play etched in FHS history, but he emphasized that it took the entire team to put the Scorpions in position to win a championship.
"I never think about it just being myself," he said. "We have the guys out there blocking. It was a whole team effort to get in the red zone, then Kyle thankfully pulled in the touchdown."
Lucas isn't a quarterback who throws for a lot of yards and won't be near the top of any statistical category, but Bradley said Lucas would sacrifice anything for the team, and that's what made him one of the most valuable Scorpions this season.
"A true team player has to be that way, and it's tough for a quarterback. I say that he doesn't care about the stats, but I know he wouldn't mind throwing the ball a little bit more," Bradley said. "He knows what's best for the team is for him to be consistent and to be solid. He's a team player, and he'll sacrifice the stats for the good of the team."
Lucas said the leadership within the Scorpions' locker room allowed FHS to evolve from a team that lost in the first round last year into state champions this season.
"We definitely had a lot more senior leadership. We had 12 seniors on the team, as opposed to just four last year," the FHS quarterback said. "Right as soon as the season ended last year, we wanted to unify as a team and that was our biggest strength this year."
The Scorpions' option-based offense didn't require Lucas to throw the ball much during the year, but Bradley always had confidence that his senior quarterback could get the job done whenever he was called upon.
"I guarantee we practiced to throw the ball more, but just with the situations and the way things ended up, we just didn't throw it as much as we thought we would," Bradley said. "The confidence in knowing that we could was always there. It was just a matter of whether or not we needed to."
Bradley said that confidence came from all the work he knew Lucas put in with his wide receivers.
"A receiver and a quarterback have to know each other outside of the practice field. You just have to spend a lot of time together," Bradley said. "I know Xander Walker, Avery (Rasher) and Shane (Goeckner), and all of those guys got together with Jacob all the time. When you get this far and have the success we had this year, I guarantee they spent a lot of time outside the practice field."
Bradley said seeing Lucas' growth through his high school career and being able to share a championship with the team was one of the best experiences in his career.
"He's the consummate quarterback, the ultimate team player. His improvement from his freshman year to his senior year has been incredible," Bradley said. "Watching somebody grow up in the system like that from their freshman to their senior years and finish the way he finished, that's what coaching high school football is all about."
The best part of the title experience for Lucas is being able to share it with his team and knowing that all their hard work this season paid off with the ultimate reward.
"It means everything. I wouldn't want to go out on the field with another group of guys." Lucas said. "We have a trust and connection that you can't find anywhere else. It's going to be a great memory for the rest of our lives."