In two years for Lapel football, Malachi Qualls had earned a reputation, as well as All-State honors, as one of the best kickers in the area. But, until he transferred to Anderson High School to play for his father, Ron Qualls, he had never caught a pass in a game.
In his first season with the Indians, he more than made up for lost time. Qualls finished the season leading the area and the state in receptions while ranking second in the nation, earning Qualls the 2019 Boys Breakout Athlete of the Year.
In his first game at Anderson, Qualls caught an eye-opening 17 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown.
Thriving in his father’s pass-happy offense and with Xander Stokes slinging the ball, Qualls never really slowed down. In 11 games this season, he caught 119 passes for 1,010 yards and five touchdowns and in two sectional games, a 33-12 win over Greenfield-Central and a 78-0 loss to New Palestine, Qualls totaled 23 catches for 189 yards. In the losing effort against the mighty Dragons team, he hauled in 16 passes for 120 yards.
His season also earned Qualls an invitation to the 13th annual Griddy Awards as one of the top 25 juniors in the state of Indiana. He also continued to excel with his foot as well as his hands, averaging 43.9 yards per punt and connecting on 10 of 12 extra-point attempts. Averaging 50.8 yards per kickoff, Qualls tallied two touchbacks for the Indians this season.
Qualls is committed to Indiana State.