For South Walton Seahawk quarterback Johnathon Ortner, "winning" is the best thing about football.
"You do a lot of work and put in so many hours, but it repays. It feels great," Ortner said.
After posting only one win last year, the Seahawks have already doubled that record with victories over Franklin County and North Bay Haven.
In last Friday's contest with North Bay, the Seahawks tallied more than 500 yards of offense in the 47-20 victory.
Leading the effort was the 6-foot-1, 175-pound quarterback, Ortner, son of Steve and Katrina Ortner of Santa Rosa Beach.
The junior completed 26 of 33 passes for 302 yards and five touchdowns. Alex Smith had eight catches for 120 yards and a touchdown, while Sage Roberts had eight receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Vinnie Ciurleo had three catches for 38 yards and a touchdown, while Nick Harris caught three for 28 yards. Harrison Schaffer had the other catch for the score.
All in all he connected with seven receivers.
"Alex and Sage usually find an open spot," Ortner said. "They help me turn a bad play into a good play sometimes. That's great when that happens."
In addition to passing the ball, Ortner was forced out of the pocket a few times and picked up 25 yards on the ground in six carries.
"He is a smart player that truly loves the game of football. A student of the game," said South Walton Coach Phil Tisa.
Ortner started playing football in the fifth grade and played middle school ball in Georgia.
"I was right guard on the offensive line," he said. But after the coach noticed him throwing around with some friends, he asked if he'd like to play quarterback. The rest is history.
"I always wanted to play quarterback," the 16-year-old told the Sun noting that when he was a kid, he wished his dad coached so he could be the QB.
As a junior at South Walton High, that wish has come true. He is now at the helm of a fast-tempo football team.
"I love the new offense it's the best ever," Ortner said. "It works, and it's hard for the other teams to keep up.”
Just to show how fast the Seahawks move, last week against the Buccaneers, the Seahawks went 81 yards in five plays in 58 seconds for the score.
"We practice the way we play," Ortner said. "And it gets easier every week."
Although Ortners' stats were good last week, he said, "There was something I could have done better. I made some mistakes, some things I need to work on."
Topping the list is "making better reads and staying calm.”
However, he admits it’s hard to keep cool when the defense is closing in.
As for getting ready for a game, Ortner said he doesn't do anything special, but he looks to the coaches for guidance.
"I just trust them for what they have taught me and just try and go out and execute.”