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Upon further review

Statistical error reveals Paden set county TD record

November 12, 2013
By JOHN VARGO - Tribune Chronicle (jvargo@tribtoday.com) , Underthelights

Kyle Paden said it took a simple 7-on-7 passing scrimmage in West Virginia to awaken an offensive juggernaut and the best passing season in Niles McKinley football history.

The senior quarterback - all 6-foot-2, 185-pound of him - rewrote the school's passing records and one in Trumbull County.

Paden threw 28 touchdowns this season, one better than the county mark set by Girard's Bobby Ovesny in 2004.

Article Photos

Tribune Chronicle / Dave Dermer
Niles senior Kyle Paden threw 28 touchdown passes this season.

Initially, it seemed Paden only had 26 touchdowns. But after taking a second look at the season's film, Niles coach?Brian Shaner realized a stats error. There were two extra touchdowns from the Howland victory that were not included - giving Paden 28 passing touchdowns.

"It felt great so far, for all the success I've had in my first year. It kind of came on me fast, but now I look back on it, it's crazy to think I did all of this," Paden said.

Paden was 209 for 345 for 2,927 yards this season. Ovesny holds the Trumbull County mark with 3,044 yards in 2004. Ovesny was mentored by then offensive coordinator Nick Cochran, who is now the Girard coach.

"It's amazing," Niles coach Brian Shaner said. "I can't remember how many Saturday mornings I went in there and heard the final stat line and say, 'Wow, he did that again?' It's like he did it so regularly. We took it for granted.

"To be in the same company coached by coach Cochran. He's known around the area as that offensive guru. I'm happy we're mentioned in that same sentence. I hope we continue the success at the quarterback position."

Niles went with Stefan Yuhas at quarterback last season, a running quarterback by nature. But, Shaner said Paden could've went behind center as well last season.

"We've known it since his junior year," Shaner said of Paden's passing prowess. "His junior year, with a big offensive line and inexperienced wide receiving corps, they were all first-year starters. We were going to hang our hat on the run.

"We knew he could throw the football. He's a great quarterback. He would've been a great quarterback as a junior. He's an ultimate team player. He started for us at safety, waited his time and made the most of it this year as a senior."

This year's senior-laden receiving corps of Chris Parry, Marcus Hill, James Tate and Jimmy Lopes was one of the area's best.

"They're a great group," Shaner said. "I don't know if I've ever been around a group like this where they're all on the same page and understand what's going on. They're able to come to the sideline and tell the coaches, 'Hey, I see this. This is going to be open. We can do this.' They work real hard at it, and they work real hard at it together.

"I don't know if I'll ever be part of another passing attack like we had this year - great, great group of wideouts and a great quarterback throwing to them."

Paden enjoyed working with those four each and every week.

"Every one of them, Marcus, Chris Parry, Justin Lopes, James Tate, they can all get open, get separation. They're great catching the ball and running with it," Paden said. "I can throw 5-yard passes and they can make 80-yard touchdowns out of it. It made my job easy."

Parry, who had a team-record 60 receptions, was Paden's main target.

"I can always rely on his route running, anytime during the game," Paden said. "When it came to crunchtime, he was always my first look - see where he can get to the sticks and get the first down."

Parry, who had more than 270 yards in a double-overtime loss against Canfield this season, was Paden's go-to guy on a night where the senior quarterback had a school-record 505 yards passing.

"It was awesome, during the game, at least," Paden said. "Every time we got on the field we were scoring touchdowns, just passing right through that defense.

"At the time, it felt good. I think we did everything we wanted there that game. It just never figured out the way we wanted to."

Now, Paden has to figure out where he's going to college. Paden said he's had NCAA Division II and III offers - along with a preferred walk-on status at West Virginia University.

Shaner said he's had contact with about every Mid-American Conference school and plenty of FCS schools - schools on the level of Youngstown State.

"Right now, it's a little bit quiet, but it will pick up," Shaner said. "His highlight tape is out there. His body of work speaks for itself.

"When it's all said and done, Kyle is going to find somewhere where he's comfortable playing college football. And, we're going to be excited for him."

Paden is excited for the future of Niles football - looking back even five to 10 years from now.

"Looking back at it, I felt our team did a lot of things that no other team has ever done in Niles," he said. "I'm going to think that we had the best passing attack Niles has ever seen. I hope that stays that way for a while. I hope someone breaks it here, but I don't know."