In the midst of an unprecedented season, Cheraw quarterback Cade Phillips is putting up unprecedented numbers.
The sophomore has been getting better with each week this season and has the Wolverines sitting at 4-1 heading into the final week of the regular season. Perhaps the unordinary part of his story is that he's getting it done through the air, an unconventional method when it comes to the 6-man classification.
In five games, he's thrown for 945 yards, 24 touchdowns and has yet to be intercepted by opposing defenses.
He ranks second in all of 6-man for total passing yards and first in touchdowns. In all, just three players have over 900 passing yards in the classification and just two have over 20 passing touchdowns. That honor goes to Phillips and Granada's Dominic Coleman.
"It's crazy, honestly," Phillips said. "First off, I have to thank my blockers and receivers for catching the ball. You see a lot of 6-man teams rushing for big numbers and for Coleman and I to start turning the 6-man game to more of a passing game is crazy."
As luck would have it, those two battled in what will go down as an all-time regular season 6-man classic. Phillips threw for 271 yards and Coleman bettered him with 294. But each threw seven touchdown passes which set a state record for combined touchdown throws in a game.
Granada won the game 67-60 but it was a show that was well worth the price of admission.
"That was a fun game to be a part of on both sides," Cheraw coach Brad Phillips said. "It was two fairly high-ranked teams going at it. It was amazing, even for 6-man, how quick both those teams were able to score at some point and both of them have good defenses."
The next game, against Manzanola, he threw for seven touchdowns again. His 14 touchdowns in consecutive games is a 6-man record, and his 18 TDs in the past three games is also a 6-man record.
This is far from a one-man show. Both coach and quarterback, father and son, praise the effort of the team as a whole. Trey Pearce leads the receiving corps with 384 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
If there was any indication that the shootout was a one-off performance for Cade, that went out the window the very next week as he threw for 292 yards and seven more touchdowns in an 82-38 win over Manzanola. This time, however, he added 157 yards and a touchdown while running the ball.
It wasn't really ideal to have to see those numbers again, but there came a level of comfort knowing that if Cade needs to take to the air, he's more than capable of effectively slinging the ball around the yard.
"We were hoping he wouldn't have to," Brad said. "We were hoping our defense would slow Manzanola down a little more so we wouldn't have to put up the kind of numbers we did. He has really good receivers and really good blocking and he's capable of doing that on any evening that we need him to."
It's a fun way to play the game.
One of the greatest appeals of the 6-man game is the wide-open nature of the field which tends to allow for several exciting scoring plays in a game. Add in what a kid like Cade can do when he's generating offense through the air while a teammate like Braeden Harris is balancing the attack on the ground and it makes for some of the most exciting football in the state.
"Our team can score 36 points in a quarter and come back from a 20-point deficit pretty fast," Cade said. "It's amazing what we can do when we're clicking on all cylinders."