Clutch performer

CVA’s Chase Carlee caught the game-winning  45-yard touchdown pass against Kingwood Christian last Friday night.

Tucker Webb/The Daily Home

HARPERSVILLE -- Chase Carlee earned The Daily Home Player of the Week honor for his performance in Coosa Valley Academy's 34-32 win over Kingwood Christian last Friday night.

"It was a big week. I had a really good game," Carlee said. “As a team, we played really good the entire game, we never stopped. I think that helped me perform a lot better and make plays. It wasn't just me, everybody was doing their job, and that helped me perform to the best of my ability."

Carlee came up big in the clutch in the Rebels’ 34-32 win over rival Kingwood. Carlee made an amazing one-handed reception of a Hail Mary pass in the back of the end zone for the winning touchdown.

“It was crazy,” Carlee said. “A lot of emotions were running through my mind even before the play started. I knew if the ball was thrown my way, that I had to make a play on it.

“I remember just running down the field and seeing both of their safeties go for the ball. I knew that they weren’t going to catch it; I knew that I had to be behind them.

“The only play that I was thinking of was when Auburn was playing Georgia, and the two Georgia players jumped up and (the ball) bounced off them and an Auburn guy caught it for a touchdown to win the game. That was all that was going through my mind. It just bounced off both of their players’ hands, and I caught it with my left hand in the end zone. It was insane, it was a great feeling.”

The senior finished the game with three receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned an interception for a 25-yard touchdown.

“I had one long touchdown pass besides the game-winner, and that helped energize the team,” he said. “We already had a touchdown from one of our other receivers, Trip Allen. Just having that touchdown really pumped us up. In the third quarter, I had a pick-six. I read their tight end coming out for a 5-yard out. I read it perfectly and made the easy touchdown.”

CVA head coach Dane Reece said Carlee was worthy of the Player of the Week nod.

“He has stepped up from the beginning,” Reece said. “He has stepped up in big moments (this season). I know a couple of weeks ago, I told him that I needed the ball. I said, ‘Chase you have to get me the ball.’ Two plays later, he runs to the sideline and says, ‘Coach, here’s your ball.’

“He has stepped up, he is becoming a leader on this team, and that is really what we need.  We need guys on the field taking charge, not only by yelling at kids, but saying, ‘Hey, watch my actions. Let me show you that I am not only going to verbally lead you, but I am going to lead you with my actions.’

“He is a heck of a player. One of the big catches that he had was a big turning point for us because it was actually under thrown and there were two defenders on him. He split the defenders and came back for a 40-yard completion. … Not only is he doing it verbally, he is also doing it physically and he is showing the kids that this is possible.”

Carlee said he tries to model his game after the New York Giants standout wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

“He plays with a lot of swagger,” Carlee said. “He is real confident in himself, but he can also back up what he says. He has great hands, he is a real crisp route runner and his feet are super-fast. He makes defenders look stupid. He is one of my favorite players. I am an Alabama fan and I have been watching him since he played at LSU. I am a longtime fan of his.”