The Metroplex is full of outstanding football talent, but the receiver leading them all is wearing a Keller Timber Creek jersey.
Erik Ezukanma is just a junior, but after Friday’s game, the Timber Creek receiver continued to be at the top of the stats in yards and TD receptions.
Ezukanma now has 1,100 yards and 15 touchdown catches. And the successful season has been fun.
Ezukanma wasn’t a starter until midway through last season, and he had a meager beginning.
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“I came into this season thinking it would be like last year, with two touchdowns and about 25 catches,” Ezukanma said. “But we have a nice quarterback (Cade Schrader) and O-line and returning starters coming back, and it boosted everything. It’s better than it was.”
Ezukanma spent the spring and summer working on his routes and giving 100 percent in all his drills, he said.
The Falcons played 7-on-7 during the summer, and the added time between quarterbacks and receivers was invaluable.
“I’m not surprised we’re doing so well,” Ezukanma said. “I’m not surprised we’re leading the area in passing yards right now. We’ve got a lot of chemistry.”
All that work is not rolled up into a single focus for the Falcons. Since the end of last season and strong into this season, the cry is, “GFB! Yes, yes, yes.”
Ezukanma explained that GFB stands for ‘gold football’ and the only way to get one is to win the district title or take the first playoff game.
“Our number one goal is the golden football, and we’ve been chanting that since last summer,” Ezukanma said.
Along the way toward a gold football, the Falcons have been leading the area in offense and passing, and having a receiver such as Ezukanma helps other receivers, as well.
When teams try to put double coverage on the 6-2, 180-pound Ezukanma, other receivers like Eric Mills, Jerome Jackson or Nick Nelson are going to make the defense pay.
Having such a potent offense is a point of pride for the team and for head coach Kevin Golden.
“(Coach Golden) wants us to get 600 yards (total offense) in a game as a goal,” Ezukanma said.
But there are few personal goals for all the accolades and stats the Falcons and Ezukanma are garnering.
“I never really thought about getting up here (high in the stats),” said. “I just want to do whatever I can to win. I don’t care about stats.
“We want to go to the playoffs and have a winning record,” he said, noting the sting of last year’s 3-7 campaign still lingers in their minds.
In addition to having a usual height advantage over corners, Ezukanma said his speed and ability to get separation is what has helped him have such strong performances.
“Corners play a lot of man coverage, and we love that. We do whatever we can to get open, and our quarterback is on the money,” he said. “I feel like my speed helps me get a lot of separation from the corners and I can capitalize after the catch and run to the end zone.”
Indeed, Ezukanma has also rushed for 289 yards and two scores.
“I can take the handoff every once and a while,” he said. “It’s special to me to be running routes all the game and when they call rushing plays, I get happy.”