By Graham Henderson
On its first drive, Washington High School learned that its running game wasn’t going to be enough to beat Balboa.
After a four-and-out series, Washington head coach Karl Finley, who usually relies on his team’s running game, knew that he had to make a change.
With eight men in the box to stop the Washington run, the Eagles’ backfield was left open. Junior Eagle quarterback Aram Gevandian took advantage, throwing for 150 yards and two touchdowns on 12-of-25 passing to lead Washington to a 24-20 win on Saturday.
“Teams are concerned about our run and they’ll stack up against it,” Gevandian said. “It makes it easier for me to pass and for the receivers to get open. I showed the coaches that I could make the throws, get the touchdowns and win games.”
Balboa (3-6, 3-2) answered the Eagles’ (6-2, 4-1) first touchdown with an 89-yard kickoff return by Christian Pulusian.
The Buccaneers never led, but were within striking distance the entire game. Trailing 21-14 with 5:22 left in the fourth quarter, Balboa needed a big drive from their own 28-yard line.
Instead, they were backed up by a holding penalty. That was followed by an interception thrown by quarterback Kerati Apilakvanichakit, although the ball went off the hands of Pulusian.
“If anything, we can’t wait to find our groove, we’ve got to have it,” Balboa head coach Alvaro Carvajol said. “We are that type of team that should already be there, but today we took a step back.”
Balboa and Washington were tied for third in the Academic Athletic Association football standings coming into the game. Both teams remain likely to make the playoffs.
“At the end of the day, there’s no gray area in football,” Carvajol said. “Either you make the plays or you don’t, and we didn’t today.”
W: 9:37—Aram Gevandian 10-yard pass to Levander Moore. (Adam Badi kick good)
B: 9:23—Christian Pulusian 89-yard kickoff return. (Eric Sutton kick good)
W: 2:27—Gevandian 37-yard pass to Abraham Rivera (Badi kick good)
B: 10:10—Greg Warren 44-yard run. (Sutton kick good)
W: 5:22—Gevandian 1-yard run. (Badi kick good)
W: 2:27—Badi 41-yard field goal
B: 0:22—Apilakvannichakit 2-yard pass to Abraham Musalam. (Sutton kick good)