2012 All-Metro football player of the year: East Central's Stanvon Taylor
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Sunday, December 23, 2012
12/23/12 at 7:06 AM
PEYTON MANNING and Adrian Peterson are the top contenders for the National Football League's most valuable player award after overcoming major injuries suffered last year.
East Central's Stanvon Taylor followed a similar course to being named the Tulsa World's All-Metro Player of the Year.
Taylor, who is committed as a cornerback to the University of Oklahoma, missed most of the 2011 season after suffering a broken ankle in the opener.
However, he came back for his senior season better than ever and did it all for the Cardinals, who reached the Class 5A state title game under Bobby Klinck, who is the World's All-Metro Coach of the Year.
Teams, well aware of Taylor's reputation as a shutdown cornerback, rarely threw in his direction but he still managed to pick off four passes and had 34 tackles.
On offense, as a wideout he led 5A with 67 receptions for 1,107 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a threat to score any time he touched the ball, the Cardinals tried to get him the ball as much as possible and he had 301 yards on 29 carries and scored twice. As a wildcat quarterback, he completed 5-of-7 passes for 202 yards and two TDs.
And he also made a big impact on special teams. A pivotal moment in East Central's drive to the state title game occurred late in the first half at Coweta in the season's fifth game.
Earlier in the day, East Central was rocked by the news it would have to forfeit its first four games due to using an ineligible player. Coweta led 21-13 and threatened to increase its lead with a field goal. But the kick was short and Taylor returned it 85 yards for a tying touchdown.
"Usually I go for the block, but he (Deontre Youngblood) told me he wanted to go for it so I stayed back," Taylor said. "I tried to make a play and remember a missed field goal was a live ball."
With three seconds left in the half, Taylor caught a TD pass to give East Central the lead. He finished the night with seven catches for 110 yards and four TDs overall plus a two-point conversion.
Whenever the Cardinals needed a big play, it seemed that Taylor would deliver. Taylor caught two TD passes, including an 89-yarder from Tre'von Cherry, plus had an interception in a 20-13 quarterfinal win over defending state champion Guthrie. In the semifinals, Taylor caught two TD passes and scored on a clinching 57-yard run for a 26-14 victory.
"He's a great player, the best we faced," said Collinsville coach Kevin Jones, who saw Taylor catch TD passes and pass for another in a 36-26 loss to East Central. "He's probably got the quickest hips I've seen in 18 years of coaching. I'll be surprised if he's not playing as a freshman at OU next year. He's special and I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up playing on Sundays (in the NFL)."
Klinck also sees a bright future for Taylor.
"It will be interesting to see what he can do at OU when he's not playing both ways," Klinck said. "He never wanted to come out of the game."
Taylor even punted for the Cardinals and averaged about 38 yards.
"I want to use all the abilities God gave me," Taylor said.
Besides Taylor's feats on the field, he also provided leadership off the field.
"He's got that quiet leadership, that look in his eyes," Klinck said. "He's always wanting to make plays and he's such a good teammate, and a solid young man."
When Klinck was named head coach in mid-May, he knew a strong relationship with Taylor could be pivotal to the team's success.
"I kind of sought him out," Klinck said. "I had gone to OU and he was going to OU. I wanted to get him on my side. ... Once he bought in, everyone else did."
Taylor helped the Cardinals win all four of their games that were decided on the field by seven points or less.
"I feel like we had a great season and every game was memorable, especially with all the close games," Taylor said. "I just wanted to help the team and make everybody else better."
Original Print Headline: Comeback Cardinal
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393
East Central's Stanvon Taylor (left) and coach Bobby Klinck guided the Cardinals to the 5A state title game. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World