PALM HARBOR — They call him Big Play Billy at Palm Harbor University. But for the Sarasota Riverview faithful, he’ll forever be known as that darn quarterback.
Billy Pavlock has made a high school career beating teams with his legs as well as his right arm.
On Friday night, he brought the Hurricanes one step closer to their first postseason berth using all of his assets.
Behind an uncanny ability to make plays from nothing, Pavlock spearheaded a 27-7 PHU victory.
No sequence better exemplified Pavlock’s creativity than a drive to open the second quarter. With the Hurricanes (4-2, 1-0) holding a 10-7 advantage, Pavlock guided his team to a field goal, making one spectacular play after another. Facing third and 40 from his own 10, Pavlock raced up the middle on a draw and picked up 51 yards. On third and 18 from the Rams’ 32, Pavlock lobbed a screen pass to Ryan Myers for 19. Logan Ruby booted his second field goal of the evening, a 27-yarder, for a 13-7 PHU lead to cap the drive.
“(Riverview) called out the draw all night. They knew which play was coming. Our offensive line just stepped it up,” Pavlock said.
On the Hurricanes’ next drive, Pavlock needed 12 yards on third down and picked up 72 on a draw. With 22 seconds left in the half, Pavlock sneaked into the end zone — his second 1-yard TD run — to give PHU a 20-7 halftime lead.
“(Pavlock) gets me out of so much trouble,” coach Matt LePain said.
Riverview (1-4, 0-1) marched to the Hurricanes’ 12-yard line midway through the third quarter, but a personal foul and a missed 46-yard field goal ended comeback hopes. On the ensuing drive, Pavlock hit Austin Reed on a 35-yard TD pass to ice the game.
PHU recovered fumbles on consecutive kickoffs to start the game and opened a 10-0 lead before Riverview ran an offensive play.