Fortner adds player of the year to record-setting season
Christian Fortner was named The Clanton Advertiser 2018 Offensive Player of the Year after being the triggerman behind Thorsby’s record-setting season on offense.
He was a true dual threat and led the Rebels in passing and rushing with 2,416 total yards on offense and 31 touchdowns during the regular season.
Throughout the season, Fortner’s accuracy was spot on. He completed 70 percent of his passes for 1,747 yards and 21 touchdowns to six different receivers.
The depth of the Thorsby receiving corps was a luxury that most teams don’t have and was something that Fortner credits for the highly productive year.
Fortner averaged 66.9 yards per game rushing, which included surpassing the century mark on the ground in a pair of contests.
“There was a couple of times when I would be begging coach to run the ball,” Fortner chuckled. “I just take what the defense gives me. If everybody is covered, I know that I can take off running and make a play with my legs.”
He became even more of a threat to run the ball in the red zone and finished with 11 touchdown scampers on the season.
That willingness to run helped to open up passing lanes and opportunities down the field.
As a result, he was the only quarterback to surpass 1,000 yards through the air during the regular season.
“Ever since my first varsity season, we’ve [the team] worked harder and harder every year to try to improve,” Fortner said.
According to Fortner, there are certain aspects of the game where he has seen vast improvement since he stepped into the starting quarterback role at THS three years ago.
“I’ve gotten a lot stronger in the weight room, which helped with running the ball, and just being a better quarterback in general,” Fortner said. “I’m making better decisions and not trying to force passes.”
Head coach Daryl Davis also called the offensive plays this year.
“If I saw something out on the field, he would always listen and try to work it in,” Fortner said.
Basketball is another sport that Fortner is passionate about, and he believes that playing the guard position is translatable to being the quarterback in football.
“It’s all about making good decisions with the ball and knowing where you’re going to pass it,” Fortner said.
Whether he is reading the secondary or scanning the court on the fast break, there is little doubt that Fortner is comfortable making plays with the ball in his hands.
Thorsby’s offense set a school record for points in a season en route to another record for wins in a season.
“I look at what we did and it was just crazy,” Fortner said. “After the season, it really hit me hard because I knew that I’d never be able to step back out on that field and play again.��
NOTE: The content below should be placed inside a box next to the offensive player of the year story.
Quarterback: Christian Fortner, senior, Thorsby
Quarterback: ShiKeem Laister, junior, Chilton County
Quarterback: Jackson Abbott, sophomore, Maplesville
Running back: Christin Brown, senior, Maplesville
Running back: Ryan Morrow, junior, Maplesville
Running back: Cole Atchison, junior, Isabella
Running back: A.J. Jackson, senior, Jemison
Running back: Cameron Wright, senior, Chilton County
Running back: Taylor Arington, junior, Billingsley
Receiver: Jacob Lockhart, junior, Thorsby
Receiver: Cole Farris, senior, Thorsby
Receiver: Tyler Jackson, senior, Thorsby
Receiver: Kendall Reeves, junior, Isabella
Receiver: Jakavian Mckenzie, senior, Maplesville
Offensive line: Cole Reeves, senior, Isabella
Offensive line: Noah Walls, junior, Maplesville
Offensive line: Jody Little, senior, Chilton County
Offensive line: Henry Wilson, senior, Thorsby
Offensive line: Johnathan Lowery, junior, Jemison
Offensive line: Ty Rawlinson, senior, Billingsley
Athlete: Carlton McCary, senior, Billingsley
Athlete: Dawson Rohrbough, senior, Verbena
Kicker: C.J. Hunter, senior, Chilton County