After the second of Pine Creek’s touchdowns in a 44-13 stampede over Doherty, the Eagles needed their kicking football for an extra point.
Todd Miller joined other coaches in yelling for quarterback Gavin Herberg, who was sitting on the bench. Herberg trotted over to the kicking ball and casually launched it 60 yards to the waiting huddle. The ball soared through the night sky. It was quite a sight.
Miller barely noticed.
“Sixty yards, flat-footed. I’ve seen it a million times,” Miller said. “He’s got a cannon for an arm. It’s lightning.”
Before the season, most of the talk about Pine Creek’s offense was about junior running back David Moore III, who carried the Eagles to a state title and a state final in his first two seasons.
Herberg, with his powerful arm and the quick feet and speed of a running back, has altered the conversation. He outplayed Colorado QB recruit Ty Evans in Pine Creek’s season-opening win over Palmer Ridge, and he was again impressive Friday night as the Eagles cruised to victory over Doherty.
A second-quarter sequence showed Herberg at his best. He threw a 17-yard touchdown to Max Lofy that was nullified by penalty. Unbothered, he threw a 31-yard touchdown to Lofy on the next play.
In the huddle after the penalty, Herberg wasn’t flustered. He told Lofy to run a “wheel” and fully expected another touchdown.
“I knew we could get back there and execute and play our football and score again,” Herberg said.
That calm confidence is part of Herberg’s secret, Miller said. He’s seldom shook up by circumstances on the field. Instead, Herberg is looking ahead to his next play and his next chance to sizzle a defense.
“He’s got composure, know what I mean,” Miller said. “The moment is not too big for him. That’s an important component of being a good quarterback.”
Miller compares Herberg’s throwing ability to Tommy Lazzaro, who passed for 1,512 yards while leading Pine Creek to a 14-0 record in 2014.
Pine Creek’s offense is jammed with junior talent. Next season, Moore, Herberg, Lofy and Eddie Kyle return, which means the good times should continue to roll. On Friday, Kyle made a superb diving catch of a soaring, 33-yard Herberg touchdown throw.
“It’s a lot of fun throwing to these guys,” Herberg said. “Hopefully we can continue this year and continue on to the next year.”
The near future, though, offers a severe test. Miller believes in a viciously challenging nonconference schedule, and Herberg and the Eagles travel next Friday to Valor Christian.