Nathan McCahill's hunch has paid off big time for the Indianapolis Cathedral football team.
"I always had a feeling my senior year would be my year to shine because I have some fantastic playmakers surrounding me and a great offensive line," McCahill recalled."I knew we would have a great season as a team, and I knew a lot of that would depend on my ability to make plays, plus get my playmakers the ball."
Despite completing only 5-of-6 passes for 189 yards with three touchdowns a year ago, the 6-foot, 175-pound senior signal caller has proved to be a huge difference maker for the top-ranked (Class 5A) Irish (9-1).
"I knew during the summer that I was going to be the guy to take over after Orin (Edwards)," McCahill said." I took almost all of the first team reps over the summer and already had good timing with all of my receivers."
Taking over the controls from the departed Edwards, who was 157-of-291 for 1,990 yards with 25 touchdowns and 101 carries for 505 yards with five scores, has proved to very smooth for the former wide out McCahill.
In addition to completing 161-of-242 passes for 2,189 yards with 28 touchdowns, he has also run the ball 90 times for 494 yards with four scores.
"The transition back to quarterback wasn't very difficult for me because I was the backup to Orin the year before, said McCahill, who also had nine catches for 97 yards and 10 rushes for 55 yards in 2019. "I already had a ton of knowledge of the playbook, so I just tried to get the best timing possible with my receivers.
"Playing receiver also definitely helped me when it came to making plays on my feet as well as just gaining more football experience and having knowledge at other positions besides quarterback."
Along with his impressive totals is the fact he has thrown only four interceptions against some of the best competition around, including No. 1 (Class 6A) Center Grove and Saint Xavier (Ohio).
"The coaches have always made a big emphasis on keeping the ball off the ground," McCahill said. "All the players know that you can't win games if you turn the ball over, so during the week, we do drills for ball security. I always try to understand the situation we are in during the game and if my receivers are covered, I try not to force a bad pass."
Working and concentrating on all of the aspects of the game is also something that McCahill does not take lightly.
"Each week, all the guys and I know we can't waste reps at practice because every rep matters and could be the difference between winning and losing," explained McCahill. "I also watch a lot of film during the week on the opponents' defense so I know what to do when they throw a certain defense at us. Watching film makes it easier for me to just play my game and not be hesitant on the field."
Now in his third campaign as the leader at his alma mater, Bill Peebles has been impressed with the maturation of one of his offensive stalwarts.
"Nathan McCahill is one of the great leaders and competitors I have had the privilege of coaching," Peebles said. "His performance this year has been nothing short of amazing. He has led us to three wins over Max Preps Top 100 opponents and his outstanding performance has been among the best in the state against the toughest schedule in the state of Indiana."
All of his success on the field has garnered him a lot of attention, including an offer to compete for Valparaiso University next fall.
"I want to play football at the next level, so I am still keeping my options open and looking forward to the future," McCahill said.
However, his main focus now is a Friday showdown with No.6 Decatur Central (8-2) for the Class 5A Sectional 13 championship at Indianapolis Arlington.
"I am preparing for the playoffs by taking extra care of my body, and blocking out any off the field distractions, like social media." McCahill said. "As a team, we've been getting in better shape because we know when it gets cold the tougher and more gritty team comes out on top. I also have been telling my teammates that we are every team's super bowl and will get every team's best game. This means we have to stay focused and continue to work hard."