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Western Brown quarterback could pass Joe Burrow on OHSAA career passing yards list this season

Threw for 5,269 yards and 56 touchdowns in 2021
Posted at 5:12 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 18:03:40-04

LOVELAND, Ohio — Western Brown quarterback Drew Novak led the entire nation when he threw for 5,269 yards last season. But you would never guess the rarefied air he's in by speaking with him.

"I'm going to be honest," Novak said Tuesday morning during a 7-on-7 practice at Loveland, "I don't really like the attention too much. I just like playing football."

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound senior knows how to sling the pigskin.

"The stats are insane," Western Brown senior safety Quentin Collins said.

Novak is just 76 yards away from becoming the 14th player in Ohio High School Athletic Association history to throw for at least 10,000 yards in a career. He is just 1,505 yards away from passing Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (Athens High School) for sixth place on the OHSAA's career list.

The 2021 Division III state player of the year completed his junior season with 5,269 yards passing and 56 touchdowns. The 5,269 yards led the nation, according to MaxPreps. He also rushed for 1,202 yards and 21 touchdowns.

"He's just a humble kid," Western Brown coach Nick Osborne said. "He's one of those kids that is once-in-a-lifetime kid that you wish you could have every year."

Every year, the Broncos have improved with Novak as the quarterback. Western Brown (11-3 in 2021), a Division III regional runner-up last season, made its first regional final appearance in program history.

"It was a blast," Novak said. "All the team camaraderie we had together. We had so much fun. And the town just made it better. They're so awesome."

The Broncos are hungry for the next step in the postseason this year. The team returns 17 players who earned playing time last season.

"I think we've had a lot of energy that we're carrying over from last year," Osborne said. "We still got a bad taste in our mouth from the regional final game."

Novak said the experience of playing in a regional final has helped the Broncos this preseason.

Western Brown senior quarterback is just 1,505 yards away from passing Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (Athens High School) for sixth place on the OHSAA's career list.

"Last year we were just happy to be there and didn't know what to expect," he said. "Now, we know what to expect so that will help a lot."

The 16-year-old is often not aware of his statistics and milestones until a coach informs him after a particular game. He simply just wants to return to the playoffs and win.

Novak has scholarship offers from Ashland University, Stetson University, Glenville State University, Notre Dame College and Thomas More University. He wants to study special education and become a teacher and a coach one day.

This summer, Novak's focus is purely on the next day of his final season of high school football.

Novak added more than 30 pounds to his frame this season. He's stronger and has improved his speed and footwork, Osborne said. Novak notices more zip to the football and gained a greater confidence in reading defenses.

"Playing with Drew is really fun," Collins said. "It's really good for our defense because he's so good, so accurate. The passes he makes - it just teaches us a lot - how to close out faster and all that stuff."

Novak has no interest in closing out his high school career anytime soon. The Broncos aren't looking past the season opener against visiting Hillsboro Aug. 19.

"I just want to take game by each game," said Novak. "I don't want to rush forward in anything because it will be over faster than you know it."

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