KEEPING IN A GRAND CITY TRADITION Matthews joins roster of star Knights quarterbacks


Anyone around the City football team will tell you how surprising the quarterback has been.

Anyone except Teron Matthews.

"Last year, Terrence Suber was in the spotlight and I just waited for my turn," said Matthews, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior. "I worked hard all summer on my passing, strengthing my legs and running. I think I've done well."

That may be an understatement.

Friday in a 40-0 win over Northwestern, which extended City's winning streak to 27, Matthews completed eight passes for 171 yards and four touchdowns. For the season, he has completed 43 of 64 for 925 yards and 16 touchdowns.

When Suber (now at Wake Forest), last season's Baltimore Sun Offensive Player of the Year, graduated, a large part of the City offense also left. Last season, he accounted for 1,596 yards combined passing and rushing.

There was no question at the beginning of practice in August that Matthews was to get the call to run the Knights' offense, but could he respond for the area's No. 1 team.?

In seven games, the Knights' offense has accumulated 242 points, well ahead of its pace of last season, when they scored 268 points while compiling their second consecutive 10-0 season and No. 1 ranking in the area.

"He has gone way beyond any expectations," said City coach George Petrides. "I expected him to be a good quarterback. He's capable of running the option. I didn't expect him to be as good of a passer he has turned out to be."

Five of Matthews' scoring passes came in the Knights' 44-16 victory over Walbrook Sept. 24. In a little less over 2 1/2 quarters, Matthews completed seven of 11 for 239 yards.

"In a way, it has been surprising," said senior wide receiver Corey Simpson. "Terrence did a lot for us last year, but Teron has a real strong arm. When we were on the JV together in our 10th grade year, he stepped right in and did pretty well."

Matthews, who was a running back before switching to quarterback in his sophomore year, is aware of the recent success of City quarterbacks like Suber and Chris Smith, who was The Baltimore Sun's 1987 Offensive Player of the Year.

When asked to draw comparisons to those two, Petrides brought up similarities to City quarterback Tony Thornes, who led the Black Knights to a 8-2 record and the No. 1 ranking in 1988.

Replacing Smith, who was 5-foot-8 and an explosive runner out of the option, Thornes was bigger (6-2, 190), stronger and a better passer than Smith. Suber, who was 6 feet, 180, was an elusive runner with a good throwing arm.

Matthews hasn't felt pressure in maintaining City's quarterback tradition. One reason is playing with running back Dwight Banks and running back Ricky Dangerfield, who were the focus of opposing defenses in the early part of the season.

"This is what I wanted," Matthews said. "Guys didn't know about Teron Matthews. They thought all that City had was Ricky Dangerfield and Dwight Banks, but that was part of my plan. I was going to work hard and show that I'm a threat also."

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