Not long after Frederick’s historic football season came to an end in the state semifinals, quarterback Jake Green moved straight to the basketball court. The Warriors scored 96 points, then 102.
Green, a dual threat in and across athletic seasons, turned himself into one of the state’s most exhilarating and dynamic players on the gridiron.
Equipped with vision normally seen from a matured running back, and a big-play arm that was finally seen at full capacity in his third year behind center for the Warriors, the BoCoPreps.com offensive player of the year outgained more than half of the Class 3A teams by himself in 2019.
His 3,490 yards would have ranked 14th out the state’s 36 3A teams that reported to MaxPreps. His 46 touchdowns would have ranked 11th.
Both shattered any reasonable expectation following Green’s junior campaign, where he threw for 891 yards, ran for 139 and had 12 total touchdowns.
It’s been a progression, Green promises.
“So, growing up I played running back and I was always pretty decent, then in eighth grade I started playing quarterback and that carried throughout high school,” said Green, who was also named to the first team all-state list in 3A produced by CHSAANow.com. “Last year, I had a pretty decent year, and then this year I worked really hard. And once I realized I was playing well that first game, and knowing my defense was backing me up, I knew I could play more freely and more aggressive.”
In a season where he topped the classification in points and yards, Green threw for 1,734 yards and 25 touchdowns to just two interceptions. He also rushed 175 times for 1,756 yards and 21 more scores.
Across all classifications, he ranked third in total yards and second in touchdowns. His team gained 5,997 yards in 13 games — tops in the state.
“A competitor and an athlete,” Frederick coach Travis Peeples described his star player. “He’s got those two things kind of pegged. Sometimes you have great athletes that don’t compete and sometimes you have great competitors who aren’t, maybe, athletes … but (Jake) has both those things. And that’s what makes him special. He’s in the top one percent in both of those areas.”
Peeples saw a transformed player at the team’s football camp over the summer in Nebraska — albeit no one probably could have predicted where Green would end up by fall’s end.
In summer scrimmages in Chadron — going against top-tier programs from surrounding states — Green showed flashes of the same kind of electric runs that would propel his team to new heights in the coming months. Peeples said it wasn’t until late in the team’s season opener against Kennedy when the onus was put on his eager quarterback.
The senior ended up throwing for 176 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 155 and three more scores in a 42-28 victory.
“We couldn’t seem to get our offense going and we put it in Jake’s hands,” Peeples said. “He was scrambling, throwing, running. He definitely was the best player on the field. And that was our changing point. With the game on the line, we were going to put the ball in his hands.”
Green went on to lead the Warriors to a program-best 11 wins and a trip to the state semifinals for the first time since 2011.
The senior rallied his team past Erie to beat its neighboring rival for the first time since 2013. In it, he rushed for 132 yards and two scores in the final 5:11 as the defense stuffed a potential two-point conversion to hold on, 21-20.
In the state quarterfinals, Green convinced his coach to call a wheel route in the final seconds. Tied at 25, his third-down throw stuck to Blake Duran 32 yards down the field. The senior receiver then broke a tackle and raced the final 45 yards for the go-ahead score to give the Warriors a 32-25 victory over Discovery Canyon.
“It was a heck of a ride,” Green said looking back. “It means the world to us.”
Green is still undecided where he’ll end up next year.
Since the end of the football season, a growing interest has surrounded the senior from programs around the country. Some are interested in grabbing on to his athleticism and could use him at a variety of positions, he said. Others like the idea of him leading at quarterback.
Green tweeted that he received his first two offers last week.