PARIS — During fall camp, Paris had only two of 22 starters from last year coming back and the Eagles didn’t even know who was going to be the starting quarterback.
With the competition close between senior Andy Trusty and junior David Buchanan in camp, Buchanan emerged with the job.
"Andy can play tight end and he really helps us out with our blocking and he can catch some big passes," Paris coach Bryan Hutson said. "Andy was pretty much like, ‘This is what we need to do to make us better as a team.’"
Trusty had played quarterback and Buchanan was an offensive guard in junior high. Then Buchanan moved into the starting spot at quarterback the next year.
Buchanan (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) is a good all-around athlete, but his intangibles have been a plus for the Eagles as much as anything.
"We are mostly a running offense and David can take off and get some yards," Hutson said. "In the passing game, he is big enough and strong enough to shake off some tacklers, scramble around and make some plays downfield. We’ve got a lot of little receivers but they have helped him out getting open and making some plays."
In wins against Mansfield, Lavaca and Cedarville, Buchanan made some big plays in the passing game. While completing just about six passes in each of those games the yardage has been more than 150 yards each time.
"We’ve had a lot of big plays in the passing game on third and long and when we had to have them," Hutson said. "David is averaging about 25 or 30 yards per completion in the conference, so those are all big plays."
Hutson says he thinks Buchanan’s biggest plus is a calm demeanor.
"He stays pretty much the same all the time whether things are going great or going bad," Hutson said. "He has made some bad plays and I have given him some of the biggest chewing outs I have ever given a player and he just says, ‘Yes sir!’ and is even smiling. He just keeps going after a bad play and then he doesn’t get too excited over a good play."
Paris (4-1-1, 3-1) has put itself in a good position for a playoff run and even a home date if the Eagles can take care of business against Atkins on Friday.
"Most people didn’t think we were going to be very good this year, but we wanted to prove them wrong," Buchanan said. "I think we have just played together and we are having a lot of fun together."