CWU vs Azusa Pacific_05

Central Washington University’s quarterback Christian Moore (7) points to the sky after throwing a touchdown pass against Azusa Pacific University.

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If there’s one thing that Christian Moore learned from his parents regarding sports, it’s that life isn’t always fair and setbacks are inevitable.

And that’s extended up into his collegiate career at Central Washington University.

With the quarterback position vacant for the 2019 season, it was a battle between four players, and only Moore had in-game experience in 2018 as he backed up the GNAC Offensive Player of the Year Reilly Hennessey.

But it wasn’t Moore who won the starting job, the Wildcats rolled the dice with redshirt freshman Canon Racanelli.

“Failure is not a matter if it’s going to happen, it’s when it’s going to happen,” said Moore’s mother Nichole. “And you’re going to need to determine now what you’re going to do on the other side of that failure.”

What did Moore do? Not only did he show up every day to stay on Racanelli’s tail, but more importantly, he remained a great supporter and teammate.

But he would be ready at any moment when his number was called.

And if it never was?

“One thing I kept reminding myself was that no man can stop the time God asked for me,” Moore said. “And if that’s to never play football again, then that’s to never play football and I’d be totally OK with that.

“It’s hard to trust him at times, but I always do, and like I said, I know he has a plan that nobody can get in the way of the plan he has set.”

Moore had been bestowed his opportunities, coming in for the struggling Racanelli twice before he finally had a breakout performance on the road versus West Texas A&M. Moore entered the game late in the second quarter and nearly guided the Wildcats to a comeback victory when they trailed as much as 31 points with his 339-yard, four-touchdown display.

Since the West Texas A&M game, Moore has completed 76-of-120 passes for 1,094 yards and 13 touchdowns along with four interceptions.

The first two games he appeared, Moore was 8-of-23 for 129 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

“I told myself that if my number gets called, I’m going to go in there and that God made me for that moment, whenever that moment was going to come,” Moore said. “Then it came at West Texas and I kept reminding myself before that game and when I went in, God made me for this, I’m ready for this.”

Since given the starting nod, he’s led Central to consecutive wins over Azusa Pacific, 44-6, and Western Oregon, a 42-41 overtime thriller on the road.

But what exactly has been different? According to Moore, it’s him and Central offensive coordinator Kelly Bills being on the same page.

“When I went in the West Texas game, there was a time where it was like me and him (Bills). Like I knew what he was going to call the next play. Like I knew that he was going to give me a concept I really liked against the coverage the defense is playing,” Moore said. “It was like we were on the same page. Like I’d look over and I knew what play he was going to run and as an OC, quarterback duo, if you’re on the same page like that, your offense is going to be unstoppable.”

That potent offense currently leads the GNAC in total offense averaging 500.7 yards per game which ranks eighth in Division II. Central is averaging 313.1 yards per game in the air which also leads the GNAC and ranks sixth in Division II.

“Things have slowed down,” Central head coach Chris Fisk said when asked if Moore looks more comfortable in the pocket. “He came in versus Western New Mexico and struggled to get the signals and struggled to get some of the plays. Now that he settled in and that West Texas game was a big deal for him to come in there and execute, deliver the football and he’s only getting better every day.”

FAITH FIRST

Moore comes from a religious background. His mother is a pastor at Champions Centre in Tacoma, and his father was in the ministry, too.

Moore, a redshirt sophomore, never once had thoughts about transferring when Racanelli was announced the starter. He’s settled in Ellensburg with great friends, teammates, and a church.

For the Moore family, life is always bigger than the sport.

“Life is bigger than football,” Nichole said. “He loves it, and it’s a great avenue for him to be able to grow in his character, but he knows it’s going to end someday, too. And developing relationships with people and growing in your character is the most important thing.”

The way he handled the quarterback situation spoke volumes.

“He’s quick to focus on the good,” Nichole said. “Quick to keep his heart pure, his mind pure towards the situation, the circumstance and the people that are around him on the team. That’s the one thing I admire the most about Christian is his perseverance. His faith really lifts him in moments like that. His belief in others, his belief that God’s working on his behalf even when he couldn’t see it. Helping him, giving him peace in his heart, and believing in others, too.

“Fighting a good fight of faith is not always an external battle, it’s most often the internal struggle. And he did that really well, and we’re proud of him for it.”

Moore has impacted others off the field, including one of his top targets in the receiving core, redshirt sophomore Tyson Rainwater.

Coming into Central, Rainwater wasn’t religious but it’s become a big part of his life today. He, Moore and redshirt freshman James Hinson — who are all roommates — attend SALT on Tuesday’s at Mercer Creek, and then the Sunday service at Champions Centre in Yakima.

“I just never really grew up going to church and got here and Christian got me going and ended up falling in love with it, so it was pretty awesome,” Rainwater said.

Moore’s religious faith permeates through his leadership on the field. And it was evident last weekend when Moore and the Wildcats overcame a 14-point deficit and held on for the OT win.

“I can see it as a mom, I can see it in his play,” Nichole said. “I can see that he is an encourager, that he is rallying the guys to keep believing.”

lolson@kvnews.com; on Twitter: @lukeolsonb

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