Patrick Mahomes gave a special shout out Thursday to a certain Eagles wide receiver and fellow Texas native. Not long after Greg Ward hauled in a 38-yard score from Clayton Thorson, Mahomes took to Twitter to send him heartfelt congratulations.
Mahomes, the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, and Ware share the same hometown of Tyler, Texas. The two fierce competitors were high school rivals — Mahomes attended Whitehouse High and Ward went to John Tyler — and they actually played against each other many times, including in a de facto championship game in 2013.
Mahomes was starting at safety for Whitehouse while Ward was starting at quarterback for John Tyler. Ward got the best of Mahomes in that game, 45-38. The hard-fought duel spawned a change in attitude for Mahomes as he switched over to quarterback the following year. The district never had a chance.
Gabe Brooks, a draft analyst for 247 Sports, provided some background:
“But that junior year, I think he went for almost 4,000 yard and 46 touchdowns, ran for like 9 more touchdowns. They went 10-2, they went down to the wire in a defacto district championship game against a John Tyler team that had Greg Ward at quarterback, Fred Ross from Mississippi State at receiver, Tyus Bowser playing defensive end who is in the NFL on the Ravens. JT beat them 45-38 but that kind of spring-boarded Mahomes into that senior year where he was just unbelievable. He had like 5500 total yards of offense.”
As a high school senior, Mahomes threw for 4,619 yards and 50 touchdowns and only six interceptions while leading Whitehouse to the District 16-4A championship. He also rushed for 940 yards and 15 touchdowns on his way to being named American State Bank Player of the Year.
Guess who Mahomes beat out for Player of the Year? Yup. Greg Ward. Small world, especially for the giant state of Texas.
Ward passed for 4,202 yards and 39 touchdowns, along with 861 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns as a high school senior. Ward owns John Tyler’s school records for yards in a single game (551), yards in a single season (4,190) and career yardage (7,963). He also completed 566 passes over his career — not to mention 48 completions in one game — and 77 total touchdowns.
Greg Ward Making Case for Eagles 53
Greg Ward, an undrafted wide receiver out of the University of Houston, made his presence felt early in the Eagles’ second preseason game. The 24-year-old hauled in a 38-yard bomb from rookie Clayton Thorson to put the Eagles up 7-0 in the first quarter. It was Thorson’s first career touchdown pass in the NFL. Ward was targeted often in the Eagles’ 24-10 win over the Jaguars and made the most of it by finishing with two catches for 42 yards and a score.
Ward was involved in a trick play late in the third quarter when Thorson pitched it back to the receiver and watched him launch it down the field. The pass fell incomplete and the intended receiver, Carlton Agudosi, wound up turning into a defensive back on the play. Still, it was sure nice to see the Eagles get creative with their play-calling.
Dual Threat Quarterbacks Backing Up Cody Kessler
As soon as Cody Kessler went down with a concussion, the talk once again turned toward the new search for a backup quarterback in Philadelphia. Clayton Thorson played the entirety of Thursday night’s preseason game and finished 16-of-26 for 175 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Not too bad.
The larger problem is there isn’t another active quarterback on the Eagles’ roster. If Thorson had gone down against Jacksonville — or next week against Baltimore — they would have to turn to either Greg Ward or Braxton Miller.
Ward was a talented dual-threat quarterback at the University of Houston:
Meanwhile, Miller served in the same role at Ohio State:
Ward and Miller are the emergency quarterbacks for now unless the Eagles sign someone else. Doug Pederson told Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro that he definitely wasn’t coming out of retirement to fill that spot.