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David Beamer, son of 9/11 hero, QBs amazing comeback in Sunshine Classic all-star game
7/11/2016 11:34 AM

EWING – It would appear that taking charge is a trait uploaded into the DNA and transferred from one generation of Beamers to another.

Thursday night David Beamer, a relatively unheralded quarterback from a Princeton High School program that survived week-to-week three years ago, came off the bench and led the West team to 28 unanswered points and a win in the Sunshine Classic all-star football game.


MOREFull coverage of the 20th Sunshine Classic


Beamer, a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder, quarterbacked that effort in every sense of the word. He's the son of Todd Beamer, famed leader of the Sept. 11 passenger attempt to re-take control of Flight 93 from terrorists who crashed it into a Pennsylvania field.

In a game he'll never forget, Beamer completed 16 of 18 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He sneaked in for one score and then showed mobility - a tool some said he didn’t have - when he fled the pocket and scrambled two yards for the West’s final score.

What Beamer did best, however, was unite the West offense. He got relative strangers a week ago involved by completing passes to eight different receivers including the West’s other quarterback Malik Thompson from West Windsor-Plainsboro North.

Beamer’s father had a similar ability to take charge and unite a group of unknowns. David Beamer was three years old when his father is said to have led that passenger revolt against the armed terrorists who hijacked United Flight 93.

According to the accounts of a GTE operator, who spent 30 minutes on the telephone during the ill-fated flight, Todd Beamer is believed to have uttered the now famous words, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.”

Flight 93, bound for San Francisco from Newark, crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pa. The four hijackers, seven crew members, Todd Beamer and 32 other passengers perished in the crash.

David Beamer will attend and play football this fall at Wheaton College in Illinois – his father’s college alma mater.

“He’s my prototypical quarterback,” said Rob Radice, the co-head coach of the West team and offensive coordinator at Hopewell Valley. “He did all of this in a week. He was winging it and slinging it.”

Radice’s pistol, spread offense with I formation elements, fit Beamer like a Brooks Brothers suit. In the shotgun, Beamer’s reads were simple, progressions rapid, release quick. Running routes of varying depths, were glue-fingered receivers from all over Mercer County and Beamer made them all part of the show.

“Offensively, me and coach Radice were on the same page,” Beamer said. “It was great to see everybody mesh.”

Beamer and the West were trailing 6-3 when Beamer took his turn at quarterback. Thompson, more of a running threat, started at quarterback.

Beamer drove the West 65 yards in three plays. Beamer completed passes of 13, 20 and finally 32 yards to Hun’s Luke Apuzzi, who snared a pass, shook off a defender and scored.

“Everybody on this team made plays,” Beamer said. “Some of the throws weren’t perfect, but I had receivers who could go up an get it.”

Beamer also had a line that protected. At Princeton, that was rarely the case.

“He was right on the money,” said Apuzzi, a two-time Times of Trenton All-Area selection. “I heard about how good David was. We had a great connection all week.

“He was 16-for-18 that says it all about how accurate he was, how on point he was and how much he meant to this team.”

Beamer’s only misfire in the first half came when he overthrew Princeton teammate, Rory Helstrom. In an odd twist, the only West receiver who didn’t catch a Beamer pass was Helstrom, his favorite Princeton target.

“Dave’s savvy,” Radice said. “When he missed, he missed long.”

After that incompletion, Beamer completed seven straight passes. Showing the ability to extent plays with his legs, Beamer led the West to another quick-strike TD.

The West scored 31 points – the second highest total in Sunshine Classic history and Beamer was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

“We weren’t sure what to expect when he went out there,” Radice said. “I told him this is all you.”

And it was.

“I never thought that would be possible,” Beamer said.

Yet Beamer was better than ever with a great supporting cast.

“Am I surprised?” Apuzzi asked. “Absolutely not.”

After all, leadership runs in the Beamer family.

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