GEORGETOWN — Matt Galley could see the opportunity before him. Hunter Lane, long the top receiver for Georgetown High football and the reigning Daily News Football MVP, was set to graduate, leaving a sizable void at the top of the receiving depth chart.
Having just finished a solid junior season as Georgetown’s No. 3 receiver, Galley committed himself to improving and spent the entire offseason training and running routes with returning quarterback Stephen MacDonald. When the time came, he wanted to make sure he’d be ready.
The results have paid off in a big way.
Galley exploded onto the scene as the area’s most prolific pass-catcher, and this season he and MacDonald have formed one of the most prolific passing tandems the area has ever seen. Galley is in position to potentially reach 1,000 yards receiving for the season, and MacDonald has taken his own impressive resume to new heights.
“I’ve always loved throwing to him, he’s a guy I can trust and I know he’ll always go get it for me,” MacDonald said. “We built a strong connection and things just clicked when we started playing games together.”
Coming off a record-setting junior season in which he re-wrote the Georgetown High passing record book, MacDonald has been even better this fall. The senior enters Thanksgiving with 2,315 passing yards and 23 touchdown passes, both of which are believed to be area records. He has also completed 168 of 285 attempts (58.9%), which is the second-highest percentage in the area among quarterbacks who have started the majority of the season even though MacDonald has attempted over 100 more passes than the next closest passer.
MacDonald hasn’t had any shortage of people to throw to — receivers Jack Lucido and Evan Swanton are both having great seasons as well — but Galley has consistently been the top guy. The senior has made an area-high 49 catches for 837 yards and 11 touchdowns, including a monster game earlier this month again St. Mary’s in which he made 12 catches for 172 yards and four touchdowns.
Galley, who played flag football with MacDonald for several years in middle school before joining the high school program as a sophomore, admitted that he never expected things to take off the way they did. But he always believed that if he committed and put in the work, good things would happen.
“I knew that I had to step in and help Stephen a lot and help the team,” Galley said. “There are definitely some other guys who have stepped up too, but I knew that I could do it.”
Galley likely would have been a sure thing to reach 1,000 yards on the season, except he was knocked out of the team’s last game against Hamilton-Wenham early with a concussion and is now considered questionable for Thanksgiving, when Georgetown (4-6) will host rival Manchester Essex (7-2) at 10 a.m.
MacDonald, obviously, is hopeful his friend and classmate will be able to share the field with him one last time on Thanksgiving morning. He added it hasn’t sunk in that Thursday will be the end, but while he wishes the team could have gotten better results in terms of wins and losses, he’s grateful to his teammates for all the success they’ve been able to enjoy together.
“I never thought that this was a place that Matt and I could get to, but I’m happy it worked out that way,” MacDonald said.
Records within reach
Stephen MacDonald has already put together the most prolific passing season in area history, and with another big game on Thursday he will have a chance to reach some unprecedented career milestones. The senior is currently at 4,983 passing yards and 47 touchdowns for his career, putting him well within reach of 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns.
Plumb in the pipeline
Incredible as it may be, record-setting quarterback Stephen MacDonald somehow hasn’t been the most prolific passer in the Georgetown High program this fall. Anthony Plumb, who starts at quarterback on the junior varsity team, has posted some monster numbers of his own. The sophomore recently wrapped up a 10-1 season for the Royals’ JV squad, passing for 2,836 yards and 27 touchdown passes and four touchdown runs while engineering three game-winning drives in the fourth quarter.
Georgetown coach Eric McCarthy called Plumb a promising player with good size, a strong and accurate arm, and good poise and leadership. He will have a chance to step in on varsity as a junior next year following MacDonald’s graduation, and with a whole host of talented receivers set to return, Georgetown’s high-powered spread offense could keep rolling without missing a beat.