Carter Boyer has a decision to make, one he never dreamed he would be confronted with.
Boyer, a senior quarterback at Monmouth College, was set to call it a career after this season.
Then Boyer had the best season of his career, leading the Fighting Scots to a 9-2 record and a victory over Concordia in the Cousins Sub Lakefront Bowl Nov. 19 in Wisconsin.
With a year of eligibility remaining, the Illini West High School graduate is now contemplating coming back for one more year of football.
"I'd like to come back next year, but that's something I will have to talk to my parents about," said Boyer, a business major who will graduate at the end of this semester.
Boyer is coming off a banner season in which he completed 152-of-252 passes for 2,219 yards and 21 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He had a 154.64 quarterback rating. He also rushed for 242 yards on 33 carries and scored seven touchdowns.
Boyer threw for a season and career-high 309 yards on September 10 against Grinnell, when he had a career-best four passing touchdowns. He also ran for a 61-yard touchdown against Grinnell. He was a perfect 10-for-10 passing against Lawrence on October 1 and had five combined touchdowns against Beloit on October 15 with three passing and two rushing.
Last season, Boyer had 1,508 passing yards and 10 touchdowns.
One of Boyer's top moments came his freshman year when he led the game-winning drive against St. Norbert in the Midwest Conference championship game, going 5-for-5 for 76 yards and a touchdown pass to Jake Uryasz.
After a slow start to this season, Boyer and the Fighting Scots found their groove and finished strong.
"It started a little iffy with me and another quarterback splitting reps," Boyer said. "But as the season unfolded, it became my role. We had a big win against Ripon College. We didn't get it done against Lake Forest, but we still had a really good season."
As a senior, Boyer took on a role as one of the team leaders. It was a position he grew to love.
"We had a couple other great leaders on the team, too," Boyer said. "Our goal was to be conference champions. He didn't get that, but we still made it to a bowl game. We have a great bunch of guys on this team and I've made a lot of lifelong friends here."
Boyer had to make a big adjustment coming to the NCAA Division III level. He was the starting quarterback for Illini West, which seldom threw the ball during his high school career.
"I wish we would have thrown the ball more in high school. We played the wing-T in high school. (Former Monmouth College quarterback) Michael Lafferty was one of my coaches there and he wanted to run a spread offense but Lyle (Illini West head coach Klein) wouldn't go for it," Boyer said. "It was definitely a tough adjustment my freshman year because I had so much to pick up in the passing game. I literally knew nothing at the beginning of my freshman year. But the coaches here are great and the help you learn the play book. It was a big adjustment, but it was pretty easy by the end of my freshman year."
Boyer completed 18-of-38 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns in the Fighting Scots' win over Concordia on Nov. 19.
Will that be Boyer's final game?
Time will tell.
"I had a lot of fun this year playing football," Boyer said. "I really want to come back and play one more season, but we will see what happens."
Matt Levins is a sports reporter for the USA Today Network in Burlington, Iowa, who has covered local sports for 32 years at The Hawk Eye. Reach him at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on The Hawk Eye: Carter Boyer has record-setting season for Monmouth College football