SENECA – Seneca’s offense has produced 3,148 yards of total offense this season. Senior Bo Taylor is responsible for more than 60 percent of them – 1,908, to be exact.
Taylor has gained 1,532 of Seneca’s 2,726 rushing yards and has thrown for 376 of the team’s 422 passing yards. Nineteen of the 32 Fighting Irish rushing touchdowns and both of their passing touchdowns have come from Taylor. He also has 87 of their 719 total tackles, ranking second on the team.
That production has helped the Irish go 8-2 and earn a second-round Class 3A playoff game with Chicago Robeson this afternoon. Before practice earlier this week, Taylor shared his thoughts with the Morris Daily Herald.
Q. Have you ever been told congratulations more often in your life than in the past few days?
A. No, not really. I mean, there’s been so many people that support our team and come up and say congratulations to me and other players all the time just for making the playoffs, especially since we haven’t been there since 2001. No, I can’t say I have.
Q. What range of emotions have you felt this week? Did you expect the feeling to be quite what it’s been?
A. No, I didn’t expect playoffs to be like this at all. Coach [Ted O’Boyle] has always told us that there’s no other feeling like being in the playoffs and playing in a playoff game. I didn’t really know what to think at first. I didn’t really believe them, I guess, and then when you get in the game, it’s so much different than a regular-season game. It’s crazy. The emotions are a lot higher, and it’s a lot more fun.
Q. Can you tell me how you got involved in the sport? How old were you, and what made you decide to start playing?
A. Me and my brother [Mike] started off playing [for the Ottawa Eagles] when I was like in fourth grade – I think I was in fourth grade, he was in fifth grade. I don’t know, my dad was a football coach for the Coal City Coalers back when they went to the state championship [in 2004]. You know, I’ve always kind of been around football. My dad [Ray] didn’t let me play until I got a little older. I was always around football, and I knew I always wanted to play it. I just started in fourth grade. Wasn’t very good in grade school, but just kind of built up from there.
Q. I know about your high school days. Did you and Mike always play youth together and kind of feed off of each other the way you did in high school?
A. Me and ‘Rex’ played together – and I call him ‘Rex’ because it’s a family name — me and ‘Rex’ played together since I was real little. You know, he’d always be like a year ahead of me on the upper team, and then we’d meet the next year. Pretty much always me and ‘Rex’ played together – this is my first year without playing with my brother. It’s different. We always kind of played with each other. I always liked it, playing with my brother.
Q. He was part of a group that did a lot in getting Seneca back to where they were close to this. Is it kind of bittersweet with him not being here, but that you can say, ‘Hey, you helped us get to this point?’
A. He doesn’t live in Seneca anymore. He’s in the Marines, but yeah, every time I talk to him, we always get to talking about football and how the season’s going and stuff. He’s told me a ton of times that he’d want nothing more than to come back and play football for another year with me. He knows how special it is to me to get to the playoffs, and I make sure I tell him that, you know, he was a part of the reason why we’re here, is because that team set the foundation and this team is just building off of it.
Q. We’re 10 counting games into it now. How’s the switch to quarterback gone. Has it been what you expected it to be?
A. Yeah. I mean, coach O’Boyle makes it pretty easy on me. Pretty much now I know the offense. I know what I’m supposed to be looking for in defense, and I know what I’m supposed to be reading. We don’t throw the ball much anyways, but when we do, it’s pretty basic stuff. I don’t have five, six reads to go through. It’s pretty basic, so I mean it’s not too hard for me to catch on to. It hasn’t been. So it’s going pretty well.
Q. I have a hypothetical for you. The IHSA comes out tomorrow and says players can only play one way, offense or defense. Coach O’Boyle says, ‘I’m leaving it up to you, Bo.’ Which one are you gonna pick and why?
A. Hmm. Probably offense. I’d probably go offense. I mean, I love defense still. I love defense, but I think in high school, I’m probably a better offensive player. Yeah, probably in high school I’m probably a better offensive player, and plus, with this team, I think I’d fit better. They might be able to do without me on defense, but offense, I’m kind of the leader of that group. So offense, I’d probably have to say offense – even though I love defense. Coach Brown is probably gonna be all mad at me for saying offense.
Q. Going into the year, the big push was to make the playoffs. You did that. Then you guys wanted to get a home playoff game. You didn’t necessarily go about the way you wanted to with the Week 9 loss, but you got it anyway. You’ve now won the first-round playoff game. Are you satisfied at this point? Do you keep pushing yourself to want something more and you’re not gonna be happy unless it happens?
A. We can’t be satisfied with just one playoff win. Obviously our goal was to get here, to the playoffs. Now there’s a bigger goal that we need to start to set because we won our first playoff game. We’re pretty much now just taking it game by game. I,myself, want to go to a state championship. I mean, that’s what I want do, but as a team, we’re pretty much taking it game by game and worrying about what we’re gonna do this week and getting by this week and hopefully making it to the next round. No, I don’t think we’re satisfied with just one win. We want at least two or three more wins.
Q. What’s gonna happen for you after this year? Are you gonna keep playing football? Have you decided anything at this point?
A. Yeah. Hopefully I can play college football somewhere. That’s what I’m trying to do. I don’t know where yet, but yeah, hopefully I can play college football somewhere. There’s a bunch of NAIA schools in the area that I’ve been talking to.