Midway through the third quarter of Davidson Day’s 69-28 win against Harrells Christian in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II championship on Nov. 22, Glen Coates knew he’d been injured.He just didn’t know he’d be spending Thanksgiving morning at the hospital, having surgery to repair a broken left hand. Coates’ injury happened on his third reception of the game. The wide receiver ran a comeback route and Patriots senior quarterback Will Grier put the pass right on target. As Coates raced across the field in search of some extra yardage, Harrells Christian’s Zack Carlton caught up to the 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior and pulled hard. In an effort to stay on his feet, Coates planted his left hand in the turf, but the weight of Carlton sent him rolling over the wrist and on to the ground.“I was trying to keep myself up and bent my hand way too far back,” Coates said. “It hurt a whole lot after that, but I wasn’t too concerned.” Coates went to the sidelines and got his hand taped, playing up the injury to the Patriots’ trainer, who quickly grew wise to his joke. “Nobody thought it was messed up,” Coates said. “When I was getting it taped, I was kind of overreacting, playing with the trainer. She just kept asking me if I needed to stop playing.” Once taped up, Coates went back out there and quickly got back into the action. One of the highlight plays of the championship game was a 16-yard rush by Grier, in which the quarterback hurtled a Harrells Christian defender just before getting pushed out of bounds. But according to Patriots coach Chad Grier – Will’s father – it was Coates who made the scramble possible, which came with a few minutes remaining in the third quarter, with the outcome still uncertain. As the pocket collapsed around Grier, Coates – who was the backside receiver on the play – did what he’d been taught to do. He took off downfield, drawing defenders with him in the process.The decision opened up the hole Grier needed to rush downfield. Once it was clear that the ball wouldn’t be thrown in Coates’ direction, he raced back into the play and delivered a crushing block on Harrells Christian linebacker Sammy Dixon. “It sounded like a gun went off during the game,” Chad Grier later said of the block. “What you don’t see until you watch the film is that Glen ... created that big space for the run. It’s one of those things that you don’t really appreciate if you’re just watching the game.” According to Grier, plays like that have defined Coates’ career at Davidson Day. “What (Coates) does is so underrated,” he said. “You watch on Saturday and Sunday, and you see a lot of the guys catching balls that don’t really compete on the edge. You’ll see a 10-yard play that could have been a 50-yard play. We get the 50-yarder because we have kids like Glen that get out on the edge and do their part.”Coates’ night didn’t end after the block. After re-taping the injured hand, he managed to pull in one more reception – a backside hitch, where he once again landed hard on the wrist. This time, Chad Grier pulled Coates aside after the play. “He told me I’d been having a great day and that he wanted me to not injure myself further,” Coates said. “I think I went in one more series after that and then stopped.”Coates finished the game with four receptions for 89 yards (with a long of 53 yards). His last reception put him over 1,000 yards receiving on the season (1,009). Coates, who is right-handed, was thankful it was his off hand that was injured. Asked if he was still able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, he chuckled and replied, “Yes sir.”
Monday, Dec. 09, 2013
Coates hung in there for the Patriots
Seth Lakso is a freelance writer for Cabarrus News. Have a story idea for Seth? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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