ARLINGTON, Texas -- Darrell Colbert Jr. kept getting knocked down. And he kept getting back up.
Perhaps that will make coping with Houston Lamar’s 35-21 loss to Allen in the Texas 5A-1 state championship a bit easier for the 2014 athlete. This one hurt – in more ways than one – but Colbert will get over it and get up once more.
“My body is sore, but it ain’t nothing a little ice can’t heal," he said. "I’ll be all right.”
The dual-threat quarterback took a beating on Saturday night. He required on-field attention from team trainers several times throughout the night and had to leave the game in the fourth quarter with another ailment.
He came back a play later but got knocked out again on the drive and had to watch Lamar's final play of the game helplessly from the sidelines.
That stung more than anything else. Colbert didn't want to abandon his team, not when it had a chance to knock off favored Allen in Cowboys Stadium and complete a remarkable 16-0 season.
“We had a wonderful season,” he said. “We got to where we wanted to be. We just didn’t finish. Everybody doubted us and said we weren’t going to be here. We got here. We just didn’t finish out like we wanted.”
Any doubts about whether Colbert’s future is at quarterback were tossed out for one night. He threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 126 yards and another score. He's the reason this game was close throughout.
Colbert broke a 69-yard run on the night, but it was his passing that made an impression. One touchdown pass, an 18-yard toss in the third quarter, came when he rolled out off play action and fired a bullet to a tightly covered receiver over the middle.
Still, Colbert knows most recruiters will see his measurables – 5-foot-11, 185 pounds – and envision utilizing him as an athlete on offense. He’s not bothered by that, at least not for now.
“I play like I know I can play,” he said. “Everybody tells me since I’m short that I’m an athlete, that I can’t play quarterback. I show up every week and put in the work every week to show everybody I am a quarterback.”
Colbert has yet to pick up his first offer, but Texas Tech, Houston, Tulsa and New Mexico have shown interest. He tried not to think about his recruitment much during this season.
He’d like to play quarterback at the next level but vows whoever takes a chance on him will be rewarded, no matter what you call him.
“I’m looking for the best school,” he said, “Whatever school I go to, they’re getting a good football player, I know that.”
You can call Colbert lots of things after this junior season, but he did make one thing clear against Allen: You can’t say he isn’t tough.