Highlands senior quarterback Patrick Towles became the fourth player ever from Northern Kentucky to be named Mr. Kentucky by the Associated Press.
Towles, who has verbally committed to the University of Kentucky, joins former Highlands' quarterback Jared Lorenzen as the second player to lay claim to the honor from the school since its inception in 1986. Frank Jacobs (NewCath) won it in 1986 and Shaun Alexander (Boone County) claimed the award in 1994.
The Bluebirds shattered state records on their way to fifth straight and 21st overall state title and Towles was at the center of the offensive explosion.
"Last year I was still inexperienced. This year my offensive line did so awesome and our receivers played great," Towles said of his impressive campaign. "There were a lot of times when nobody was open and I just took off and ran it instead of trying to through something deep."
The difference led to some eye-popping stats as Towles threw for 3,820 yards and 42 touchdowns with just one interception as he completed 181 of 279 passes. The senior also rushed for 589 yards and 15 additional scores.
"Words can't describe can describe Patrick. He had just done so well. He started out as a backup freshman quarterback and now he is the best player in the state," head coach Dale Mueller said of his quarterback." I am so proud of him. The guy is a man in every aspect of the world."
This prestigious honor is part of a laundry list of accolades Towles has racked up since taking over due to injury as a sophomore. None of the awards mean more to him though than leading the Bluebirds to three straight championships.
By our accounts he's the only player ever to be the starting quarterback of three state championship football teams in the entire Greater Cincinnati area.
"That is what I pride myself on. When it comes down to it at the end of the day, the only stat that matters is wins," Towles said of his success throughout his career. "Three state championships in a row as a player is awesome."
Towles finished nine votes ahead of Louisville Central's Anthony Wales (three votes). Louisville Trinity's James Quick (two votes) and Johnson Central's J.J. Jude (one vote) also received consideration in the Player of the Year poll.