Billingsley quarterback powering Bears’ winning streak

Published 1:58 pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013

For a team focused mostly on the run, the result of Billingsley’s 18-0 win over Akron might have come as a surpise.

Not that the Bears won but that all three of the team’s scores came on pass plays.

Junior quarterback Thomas Nichols completed nine passes in 15 attempts for 134 yards and the three scores and was named The Clanton Advertiser’s Football Player of the Week.

Nichols’ touchdown passes were thrown to Dalton Davis, Denzell Callens and Keyjuan Goodson.

Nichols was a starter last season, but coach Tyson McLean said he’s seen the quarterback grow into his role this year.

“I think he’s taken more of a leadership role and is making better decisions,” McLean said. “Throwing the ball, he’s gotten a lot more accurate.”

Nichols is also a threat to run the football, as Billingsley often employs the zone-read option, where Nichols can either hand the ball off or keep it and take off.

His progression has helped the Bears win five consecutive games and clinch a playoff berth.

McLean said Billingsley offense has grown along with its quarterback. The Bears relied mostly on a Wing T running attack to begin the year but have added in some elements of the spread.

Nichols’ throwing has allowed the shift, but the BHS receivers have also improved.

“They understand the routes better, how to get open,” McLean said. “They’re doing a good job of catching the ball.”