Northwest football’s Geremiah Moore, Kevyan Stallings eager to chase 5A title

By Joanna Chadwick

The problems that Northwest senior quarterback Geremiah Moore causes for opposing defenses were showcased frequently during the 2020 season.

Moore’s speed, quickness and shiftiness often flummoxed defenders, which is why he so frequently busted loose for big gains and touchdowns.

But at times, he caused problems for his own team. Because when Moore has the ball in his hands, he’s going to exploit whatever hole the defense has.

That results in some unpredictability.

“Here’s what he told me to do last year,” senior offensive lineman Kevyan Stallings said. “… We were running a play, I was pulling to the right. I didn’t know where he was going, so I guessed which way.

“He said ‘just run straight, and I’ll do what I need to do.’ We just need to do what we need to do, and he figures it out.”

Moore added: “I didn’t want him to choose a side. I wanted him to go forward and I’ll find a way to get behind him.”

Moore, who has offers from Army and Navy, is a dual-threat quarterback. Whether it’s a running or passing play, he’s got the skills.

“I love blocking for him,” Stallings said. “I love having him behind me. He’s really shifty. He’s just a playmaker. He’s that guy on the field.”

But when he transferred to Northwest, he had to adjust to the uptempo style.

“I wasn’t in great shape for our offense,” he said. “They were moving fast…. I slowed us down a little bit last year. I had to catch up with that.”

He’s grown as a player over the past year. Moore said he’s stronger, faster, more accurate on the pass and has better vision.

“A lot of people haven’t seen my passing game,” he said. “I didn’t throw much last year. But I’ve got accuracy. I see the defense well, and coach helps as lot with the play calling.”

Combine Moore with junior running back LJ Phillips, and it’s a dangerous backfield.

“If you stop him, you can’t stop me,” Moore said. “If you stop me, you can’t stop him.”

Stallings added: “I’m really excited to see what LJ can do this year. We will have a better offensive line this year. He will be able to develop more as a player. I’m excited to block for him this year.”

The Grizzlies have multiple receivers they can rely on, including Trenton Salisbury-Smith and Michael Lopez Jr.

“I like both of them,” Moore said. “Neither one is scared. They have a mentality where they can go catch the ball.”

A critical aspect to the success of Northwest’s offense, though, is that offensive line.

There’s Stallings, a three-year starter, and senior Diego Guttierez, senior James Gilbertson, junior Jacob Lamb and junior Alex Herrera.

“We just need to work on our assignments,” Stallings said. “We get our five guys blocked, and it’s a difference between a 12-yard gain and an 80-yard TD. As long as we stick to our people, it will be perfectly fine.”

While Stallings is the anchor of that line at 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, he had always been a defensive lineman.

Until his sophomore season.

“First week of camp, coach had brought me over to O-line,” Stallings said. “Four seniors were lined up for the spot and we were missing a fifth guy…. It wasn’t that hard adjusting. I love the game enough that I put the time and effort into being able to switch.

“I was upset at first, but I figured I’d give it a try. I really liked it.”

He will be playing both ways this season, though.

“I think it will be good for me,” Stallings said. “I think I’ll be able to show what I’ve learned playing offensive line. I’ll be able to articulate my skill because now I know what they’re trying to do.

“… I want to see what the limits are, what I can push, what I can help the team out with. I want to win a state title.”