One throw in the middle of a lopsided loss last season to Cabrillo illustrates exactly why there is so much excitement surrounding Morro Bay High School junior quarterback Aidan Moriarty entering the 2017 season.
On a first-and-10 play, the then sophomore righty rolled to his left, stopped, turned and fired a 30-yard pass off his back foot across the field that hit Spencer Cecil in stride.
“When I first saw him last year I was like, ‘This kid is a stick,’ ” senior Mike Unks said of the skinny 6-foot-2, 155-pound quarterback. “Then he throws it 50 yards down the field, and I was like, ‘What the heck? Where does that even come from?’ ”
Even with a frame that could get swept away in the Morro Bay breeze, Moriarty has shown he can handle the pressure. Head coach David Kelley is so confident in his ability that he plans to abandon a run-first offense that Morro Bay is known for in favor of a pass-heavy scheme this fall.
“Once I heard that, I was like, ‘Morro Bay throwing the ball?’ We have just been running the ball since existence, from what I know,” Morro Bay senior offensive linemen Luke Buentiempo said.
Moriarty, who has been playing quarterback since fourth grade, received his first varsity start in the second game of last season after senior Danny Koval started the season.
“It was awesome,” Moriarty said of his first game experience that ended with a win over San Marcos. “I was really nervous, but they helped me through it.”
He showed flashes of brilliance in a 4-6 season, but many who have seen his development over the summer believe he’s ready to make an even bigger impact in his junior season.
“He is calm during games,” Unks said. “He is skinny, but he is not scared at all. That’s what you want in a QB.”
This offseason, Moriarty has been working on making quick reads and perfecting his mechanics.
“From where he was as a freshman to where he is now, he has just made leaps and bounds,” Kelley said. “We expect him to continue with that same growth. We are excited for him.”
The Tribune 2017 prep football preview
Over the coming days, The Tribune will roll out its 2017 high school football preview looking at teams, top players and story lines from San Luis Obispo County schools leading to the opening of the season Friday. Find new daily content online at sanluisobispo.com/sports and in the Sports section.