Originally created 12/03/99

Hornets' Staley up for tonight's test



AIKEN -- Brian Staley is prepared to tackle what will be the biggest task yet of his young, but already stellar, prep career.

When the Hornets (12-2) take on Greenwood tonight for the Class AAAA Division II state title, the 5-foot-8, 168-pound defensive back will face one of the state's most potent passing duos -- quarterback Mark Logan and receiver Mario Brown.

It will be up to Staley to contain the Shrine Bowl tandem. Logan has passed for 1,995 yards and 26 touchdowns this season and has committed to play for Georgia Tech. Brown has reeled in 66 Logan passes for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns.

But Staley says the statistics don't faze him.

"I'm looking at it as a positive," he said. "I haven't played against a receiver as good as him yet, so I'm looking forward to it actually. It'll give me the opportunity to make some big plays."

Make that some more big plays. The all-Region 3-AAAA junior ended last week's 30-23 triple-overtime Upper State championship win with an interception in the end zone to seal the victory over Airport.

Staley has seven picks this season and has made a habit of stopping the opposition's passing game.

He has caught 19 passes for 532 yards and seven touchdowns, including three catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns against Airport.

"I probably won't do that much on offense," Staley said. "We'll bring some tricks out of the hat, though, more than likely. If the ball is given or thrown to me, I'll definitely look to make something happen."

The wideout is a part of coach Carey Johnson's run-by-committee offense, chalking up a lot of yards on a limited amount of carries. Staley averages 9.84 yards per carry on 43 rushes for 423 yards.

"He's dangerous," Johnson said. "He's got the chance to make a big play every time he touches the ball."



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