The Top Gun

Zac McCauley

Benton's Zac McCauley takes the Top Gun Challenge Friday night with Vilonia's Kevin Puckett, Sylvan Hils' Hunter Miller and Greenwood's Tyler Wilson rounding out the top. UA quarterback commit Jim Youngblood was invited, but attended Peyton Manning's QB camp instead.

SPRINGDALE -- Benton's Zac McCauley doesn't look at himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the state.

He does, however, consider himself as one of the most competitive.

McCauley, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior, used his quick speed and consistent throwing skills on Friday to win the fourth annual Top Gun QB1 Quarterback Challenge in Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium.

McCauley didn't win a single event in the two-day competition, but instead finished third in four different events to win the competition by 42 points.

"I just went out there and competed," said McCauley, who threw for 2,172 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior. "I'm a very competitive person. Anybody that knows me knows that I'm a very competitive person."

Vilonia's Kevin Puckett finished second with 324 points while Sylvan Hills' Hunter Miller finished third with 312.

Puckett won the Speed and Mobility event with 11.32 points and Miller won the Long Throw event with a throw of 59 yards.

Before this weekend's quarterback challenge, McCauley said he was intimidated at all the talented quarterbacks that he would be competing against.

Even McCauley's coach, Marc Jones, said his quarterback was a little nervous coming into the competition.

"His competitive nature has led him to improve in the weight room this summer," Jones said. "He's worked out twice a day for the last eight months and he's made himself into what he is right now.

"(McCauley) is going to be the leader of our football team this year because he's a true winner."

Former Arkansas quarterback Jason Allen, who created the quarterback challenge four years ago, said McCauley's consistency in every competition was the key to him being the overall champion.

"(McCauley) reminded me of (2004 champion) Clark Irwin, where he didn't win a single event, but he scored high enough in every event that at the end he stepped up," Allen said. "I don't think (McCauley) was building all night until the last two or three events. He really came on in the end."

Springdale Har-Ber's Patrick Calcagni won both the Physical Endurance and Throwing Accuracy events while Fayetteville's Blake McDonald won the On-The-Move Accuracy event with a score of 58 points.

Siloam Springs' Nathan Nall also tied for first in the Mental Test.

"I kind of felt like this whole thing was all about consistency," said McDonald, who was the only quarterback in the On-The-Move Accuracy event to hit the long 30-yard target. "I've learned so much and I really felt like this thing has made me a better quarterback.

"I know I can take a lot of this back to Fayetteville and really help my team out this fall."

Calcagni, who threw for 1,604 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Wildcats last season, said that meeting the different quarterbacks from across the state is something he'll never forget.

"It's really pretty amazing, because I would have never had the chance to get to know any of these guys had it not been for this competition," Calcagni. "The competition is a lot of fun, but just getting the opportunity to make a couple more friends is really something that I though was cool."

At A Glance

TOP GUN QB1 CHALLENGE

OVERALL RESULTS

1. Zac McCauley, Benton 366

2. Kevin Puckett, Vilonia 324

3. Hunter Miller, Sylvan Hills 312

COMPETITION RESULTS

Physical Endurance Test

1. Patrick Calcagni, Springdale Har-Ber

2. Hunter Miller, Sylvan Hills

3. Zac McCauley, Benton

Mental Test

1. Phillip Butterfield, Lake Hamilton

1. Nathan Nall, Siloam Springs

3. Kevin Puckett, Vilonia

Speed And Mobility

1. Puckett 11.32

2. Butterfield 11.61

3. McCauley 11.68

Throwing Accuracy

1. Calcagni 42

2. Alan Davis, Van Buren 40

3. Tyler Wilson, Greenwood 36

On-The-Move Accuracy

1. Blake McDonald, Fayetteville 58

2. Nathan Jones, Glen Rose 50

3. McCauley 48

Long Throw

1. Miller 59

2. Hayden Smith, Warren 57

3. McCauley 56

WEB WATCH

For Friday's complete QB1 Top Gun results, go to www.topgunqb1.com

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