The occasion last night was a Public Gold AAAA contest between the Eagles and host Northeast. Honestly, it didn't offer great amounts of juice, especially when you consider the schools are known for being heated rivals in every possible sport. Washington won, 23-6, and Gavrilov passed 7-for-10 for 124 yards.
Oh, and get this . . . He played beyond intermission!
The pattern is almost always: Dave in the first half, Al in the second. Imagine the tension in the locker room at halftime, right? At some point Gavrilov knows John McAneney, coach Ron Cohen's offensive coordinator, is going to walk over and almost certainly say, "OK, you're finished for this one." Talk about pins and needles.
Um, not really.
"Ah, I stay calm," Gavrilov insisted. "I just find out and then focus on what I have to do. If I'm out there not playing, I'm always stepping forward [a shade off the sideline] to listen to the plays and help the coaches out. I'll tell them what kind of defense I'm seeing and if I think there's a good play they should run, I'll suggest it."
He laughed. "Sometimes coach Mac listens to me . . . Sometimes he gets mad if too many people try to talk to him at once."
Four of Gavrilov's completions came in first-half scoring drives as Washington rolled to a 17-0 lead. The first thrust, thanks to Rashaan Williams' 47-yard punt return, needed to cover only 29 yards and all seven plays were runs. Ken Everage turned a toss left into a 4-yard score.
Next, Kendale Truitt's 33-yard punt return placed the ball on Northeast's 48. Everage, on a counter, capped this drive from the 7 and the big play was a perfectly thrown, laid-right-in-there ball to Joshua Macauley for a 37-yard pickup. No fewer than three defenders were in the vicinity. Oddly, nobody made a late break to attempt a deflection.
Scoring drive No. 3, capped by Jake Wright's 27-yard field goal, began at Washington's 22. Gavrilov went 3-for-3 and the best play was a leaping, 24-yard snag by Macauley, who's called "Texas" by his teammates because he moved here from the Dallas suburb of Arlington.
The Eagles' best play in the third quarter, though the drive did not yield TD fruit, was a 30-yard hookup between Gavrilov and Everage. Trust us, this was a sensational catch! Everage, not exactly a giant at 5-6, 175, soared and brought the ball in one-handed, then managed to maintain control while crashing to the turf.
"My guys made some great catches," Gavrilov marveled. "We went for some long ones because the corners were jamming us and we thought we could beat them."
Actually, this season began in uncommon fashion. Gavrilov went the distance in the opener, then Augustine did so in Week 2.
"I wasn't sure what was going to happen this season," Gavrilov said. "I came in ready to compete and I knew everything would come down to the coaches' decision. I expect to just play the first half, but if it's more, like tonight, I'm prepared for it.
"I've been playing quarterback since I was 7 years old, starting out with Crispin Gardens. It's a big responsibility, but I like the pressure. Al and I can give teams different looks. They have to prepare for both of us. I'm a pocket passer. He's more of a runner."
Augustine's first play, which ended the third quarter, was a 13-yard keeper. After dropping a snap for a 2-yard loss, he managed 3 yards on a scramble amid some sideline talk that maybe he should have thrown. Next play: He did. The ball hit the receiver's hands, but he failed to make the catch and Natwan Curtis wound up posting a 52-yard pick-six with 10:56 remaining.
Those hoping for a memorable stretch experienced huge disappointment. Truitt returned the kickoff 52 yards and Marquis Edwards ran 4 yards for a score on play No. 6 of the drive.
Gavrilov, who was born in Brooklyn, moved here at age 3. He lives on Burbank Road, not far from Pine and Alburger, in Pine Valley, and is receiving recruiting attention mostly from Division III schools, with a few D-IIs mixed in.
No thoughts yet on a possible major, but here's guessing he'd prefer to pursue it full-time.
Contact Ted Silary at firstname.lastname@example.org. High school sports online at www.philly.com/rally