Augusta Christian quarterback Tyler Roberson did just about everything for the Lions during the 2012 South Carolina Independent School Association season.
In his senior season at the helm of the Lions’ triple-option attack, the 6-foot-4 Roberson accounted for more than 3,000 yards of total offense. He rushed for 1,017 yards and 24 touchdowns while throwing for 2,018 yards and another 18 touchdowns with just six interceptions, leading Augusta Christian to its first undefeated season (13-0) and the SCISA Class AAA state championship.
That made Roberson an easy choice for The Augusta Chronicle’s Independent player of the year.
While honored to receive the award, Roberson spread the credit to his teammates.
“I owe all the credit to the O-line and really Thomas (Banks) and Sean (Sweeting) and Nick Fortenberry because without their big-play capability, I wouldn’t be able to have mine,” he said. “It all comes back to the team. I mean, they really gave me those numbers, I didn’t do it all by myself.”
Winning the championship was surreal for Roberson at the time, but a few weeks later it has all sunk in.
“It was like I was in a dream and just running around and hugging all these people and my momma and I look back at it now and I realize what we actually did,” Roberson said. “How rare it is to go 13-0 and win a state title? I mean, it’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of and prayed about. I have no regrets at all and I wouldn’t trade this season for anything in this world.”
During Roberson’s first three years as quarterback, Augusta Christian had no backup so coach Keith Walton was reluctant to call running plays for him. With Roberson in his senior season, and a backup quarterback developing, Walton loosened the reins.
“I told him at the end of spring football that there would be no quivers left in the arrow,” Walton said. “We sat down and he agreed with me and we were on the same page and I said OK. That first game, he put up numbers like I was playing Tecmo Bowl. I just said this is going to be pretty fun.”
Roberson rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns against Wilson Hall, including the game-winner with 53 seconds left in the game, while passing for 176 yards.
He said his signature moment came in that game when he went back to pass, had to reverse field four or five times before finding Banks downfield to gain a key first down.
“I think it just shows how hard I worked and really tried to improve the talents God’s given me and just the perseverance I’ve had while I’ve been here,” Roberson said.
His four-year career at Augusta Christian almost didn’t happen.
“The first year, I was actually thinking about leaving the school and going to my area public school, ’cause it wasn’t clicking,” said Roberson. “The moment I heard coach Walton was named head coach before going into my freshman year, I was sold. I was in on that boat from Day 1. The past four years have been absolutely amazing. We’ve gone through so much together. So many good times, and a few bad, but I wouldn’t trade coach Walton for any head coach, for any college coach around.”
Next year he’ll have a chance to make that comparison. He verbally committed to Tennessee-Chattanooga.
“They gave me a full ride and I couldn’t turn that down,” Roberson said. The Mocs run virtually the same offense with much of the same verbiage.
While he’ll compete for a starting job, Roberson might not see the field right away as the Mocs return quarterback Jacob Huesman, who set or tied nearly every team freshman offensive record in 2012 and was fourth in national Freshman of the Year voting.
Roberson met Huesman on his school visit.
“He’s a dude of great character,” Roberson said. “I can really learn from him off the field and on the field. I’m really looking forward to spending the next few years with him.”