Nine seconds. That’s how much time shaved off the game clock when Lindbergh’s Frank Cange ran his pass route, collided with a defender, stopped, caught the ball as it popped up and sprinted to the end zone. Seventy-four yards total, nine seconds, with a collision in the middle.
Yes, it’s fair to say that in an explosive Lindbergh offense, Cange is an explosive player. And he knows his goal: Enjoy football now, but realize there’s a goal to accomplish.
“I’m definitely playing for fun,” Cange said. “But then again I’m trying to go to college, too.”
The Lindbergh junior is taking advantage of the opportunity to raise eyebrows this season, after not having much of a chance last season, and he certainly embodies big-play potential. Through the Eagle’s first four games, he had five touchdown receptions, averaging 44 yards each. It seems that when quarterback Jake Allie wants to go deep, he knows to throw it Cange’s direction.
Against Juanita on Sept. 25, Cange caught six passes for 123 yards. On the 74-yard touchdown play the defender was actually called for pass interference when he and Cange collided, causing the ball to pop up into the air, but he was still able to score.
Though Cange is explosive on offense, he sees himself as a defender first.
The cornerback position presents its own unique challenges, but the most apparent is the fact that often the defensive player is alone covering a receiver. If a defensive lineman misses a tackle, there are usually a number of other defenders to step in right away and the offense might gain a few extra yards. But if a cornerback misses a tackle or gets out-run, there’s a good chance the receiver can go the distance for a touchdown. It’s much easier to see a cornerback’s mistake.
“My role is to do my job and not worry about anybody else,” Cange said. “If I’m worrying about somebody else, then I might get a touchdown scored against me. … There’s a lot of pressure, but I just worry about not having anyone get behind me.”
Cange covers the opponent’s No. 1 receiver at cornerback most of the time. He relishes the challenge of going head to head with the best the offense can throw at him.
“It feels good to know you’re covering someone that’s as good as you are,” he said. “That competition makes me so much better.”
Cange also runs in track, where he made the state track meet in the 100-meter dash. He tied Hazen’s Duncan Mackay for the fastest Seamount time in the regular season in the 100-meter dash with 11.27 seconds. Cange was second in the Seamount in the 200-meter dash, with a time of 22.67 seconds. He also had the league’s third-best time in the 400 (52.29).
While he has a talent for it, track doesn’t compare to football.
“I like football better,” Cange said. “I just love the contact. Making tackles and doing all of that good stuff.”
During the season Cange works at Safeco Field in Seattle for about 15 hours a week. That’s after school, after practice and before homework.
“I’ve got to work hard,” he said. “My parents don’t usually give me money, so I have to pay my own bills.”
Despite a full schedule, Cange finds a way to make it work. He hopes to earn a scholarship to Washington State University or the University of Oregon.
He models himself after Denver Bronco’s cornerback Champ Bailey on defense and Carolina Panther’s wide receiver Steve Smith on offense. Physically, Smith is the most accurate comparison right now. Smith is 5-9 and weighs 185 pounds. He’s able to play in the NFL because of his explosiveness, even though he’s smaller than most professional football players.
Cange measures in at 5-8, 165 pounds, though he certainly has time to grow, and he has some of the same attributes as Smith: small and explosive.
Cange helped the Eagles get out to a 3-1 start and a first-place tie in the Seamount through four games.
Adam McFadden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-255-3484, ext. 5054.