Back in middle school, when he terrorized foes all over the field as he does now, Will Prouty tried to add quarterback to his resumé.
“I wasn’t too hot, though,” he recalled with a grin.
Fast forward to a dynamic senior season this fall, and it’s become abundantly clear that is no longer the case. Prouty is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the state, and his playmaking has fueled Duxbury (9-3) to Saturday’s Division 3 Super Bowl against Springfield Central (9-2) at 6 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.
Prouty, who has transitioned to quarterback full time this season, is being modest about his younger days.
It is true, however, that it wasn’t a natural enough fit for him to specialize under, or behind, center. At 6 feet 2 inches, 170 pounds, he was a natural at receiver, however.
But entering this season, minus past standouts Bobby Maimaron and John Roberts, Prouty knew the Dragons needed help at quarterback. In the first two games, Prouty split time with freshman Matt Festa, and both showed flashes but struggled in deflating losses to Brockton and Bridgewater-Raynham.
Prouty acknowledges he was somewhat stressed early in the season, and he wasn’t sure it would ultimately be an ideal fit.
Then in Week 3, he completed 10 of 13 passes and guided the Dragons to a pivotal 27-10 win over Scituate. Suddenly, his confidence soared.
Nine games later, so, too, have his numbers: Prouty has completed 59 percent (96 of 163) of his passes for 1,497 yards, 17 touchdowns, and just four interceptions; he also has rushed 132 times for 1,064 yards and 23 TDs.
The Dragons will face their toughest opponent yet in Springfield Central, and they’re eager for the challenge of dethroning a perennial powerhouse as other teams typically are when they face Duxbury. It’s rare for the Dragons to enter a game as an underdog, and they’re hoping to capture their second state title in four years.
Duxbury has many players to thank for its success this season, but it’s no secret Prouty — who has a preferred walk-on offer from Boston College — is the catalyst. He also dabbles as a cornerback, punt returner, kickoff returner, punter, and holder, and it’s always possible he’ll line up at receiver on the occasional trick play.
His primary role, though, is as a dynamic dual-threat quarterback.
“I think he’s probably the best receiver in the whole state,” Duxbury coach Dave Maimaron said. “Obviously that’s where he’d want to be playing, but he’s the type of kid who will do anything to help us.”
Starting with the Scituate game, when Prouty took over as the full-time starter at QB, the Dragons have consistently crushed the competition. Excluding the 41-0 setback to Marshfield on Thanksgiving Day, when the Dragons rested their starters, Duxbury has at least doubled up their opponent every game.
Maimaron credited Prouty for sticking around after practice and watching extra film. As Prouty has become more comfortable at QB, it’s allowed Maimaron to get more creative on offense. With Tim Landolfi, Cam Reagan, Brady Madigan, Bowman Rhinesmith, and Drake Hadley, among others, available to catch passes and make plays, all Prouty has to do is make the right read.
“It’s expected at this point,” said Landolfi, a fellow senior captain. “He’s a beast. The way he’s been able to transition to quarterback is crazy. I’m proud of him.”
Prouty’s resiliency has helped him overcome his struggles, and no game better encapsulated his mental toughness than Duxbury’s sectional semifinal win over Stoughton. The Dragons trailed, 12-7, at halftime, as Prouty had three first-half fumbles in frigid conditions. In the second half, Prouty dominated, finishing the night with three TDs and more than 200 all-purpose yards in Duxbury’s 38-12 rout.
“He has a very, very short memory,” said senior Seamus Johnston. “He’s a great teammate and a great guy, but he knows when to shut out the mistakes. Amazing, that’s all that comes to mind.”
The Dragons know about the explosiveness of Springfield Central’s offense, so they’re emphasizing a fast start. If they do fall behind early, though, Prouty won’t panic. He’s managed to adapt and overcome slow starts.
This is the game he’s eagerly awaited since his younger days, and he’s hoping to cement the legacy of his senior class.
“It was only a dream,” Prouty said, “and now it’s actually coming true.”