Ocean City QB Riley Gunnels continues family football story | High School Live

“Meeting all these guys was just amazing,” the Ocean City quarterback said. “You felt like you were on top of the world. My grandfather and Tommy were very good friends, and Brian Dawkins was the face of the Eagles.

Gunnels has played quarterback since the start of his football career.

“I like the leadership (role),” he said. “All eyes are on you. I also like to take the pressure.

This is Gunnels’ first season as a starter for Ocean City. The 6-foot-4, 216-pound junior completed 14 of 25 passes for 293 yards. He runs for two touchdowns.

“It’s a pretty big transition,” Gunnels said of returning to the starting job. “I played a few games last year. I always had (last season’s starter) Joe (Repetti) has a mentor, so I feel like I’m ready when they put me on this year.

Gunnels became a bigger part of the attack each week. He completed 9 of 13 passes for 209 yards and four touchdowns in last Friday’s 35-0 win over Absegami.

“Riley is a big kid and he’s got a big arm,” Ocean City coach Kevin Smith said. “He can make a lot of different throws. He’ll be standing there when the pocket collapses and there’s a lot of mess around him. A lot of high school kids pull back when they get that first sense of chaos, but he stays in there and it allows things to grow on the field.

Carol C. Reed