Teams getting ready to play North Paulding know right off the bat they have to focus on stopping No. 32, AJC Super 11 wide receiver Chris Conley. But once they line up against the Wolfpack and see No. 30 lining up opposite Conley, they might think they’re seeing double.
They’re not. No. 30 is senior wide receiver Joey Eliezer, and his similarities to Conley go beyond their 6-foot-3, 185-pound frames.
Just ask Paulding County, which saw the duo combine for 241 receiving yards and four touchdowns in the season opener.
“If teams double-cover Chris that keeps me in single coverage and gives me a chance to make plays,” said Eliezer, who hit the Patriots for 129 yards and two touchdowns on four catches. “It’s kind of like pick your poison.”
Just the threat of these athletic receivers has proven effective for North Paulding. The Wolfpack (2-0) barely threw the ball in their second game of the season, a 51-3 win over Alexander this past Friday. They’ve outscored their first two opponents 101-10 heading into Friday’s home game against rival South Paulding.
“A year ago we got a lot of double coverage on Chris,” coach Heath Webb said of the UGA commitment. “Thanks to Joey teams are having to play us a little more straight up. He’s still real raw. Last year his first real season. He really dedicated himself in the offseason to become a better football player.”
Webb said Eliezer came to Dallas from New Jersey two years ago primarily as a track guy. But after being exposed to Conley and seeing his success on and off the field, Eliezer decided to try to take his football game to the next level.
Conley has made a point to teach Eliezer the tricks of the trade. And this summer he Eliezer attended camps at Georgia, Auburn and Middle Tennessee and competed in a combine in Duluth.
The exposure has paid some early dividends. Eliezer is now holding a scholarship offer from Illinois. He’s hoping it’s just the first of many.
“I believe this season I’ll show that I’m a D-1 prospect,” Eliezer said.
In the meantime, Conley and Eliezer have meant double-trouble for North Paulding’s opponents. And it has made for some pretty good in-house competition as well.
“He’s a little faster than me,” Eliezer admitted. “Every day we try to compete, but it’s like a friendly competition. We’re pretty close. Been friends for two years. I want him to do well and he wants me to do well, too.”
All the better for the Wolfpack.
Here’s one of Eliezer’s TD catches against Paulding County: