The snap sailed over Gavin Wilkinson’s head, but he never panicked. Instead, the sophomore scooped the ball off the ground, eluded a pair of Morristown West defenders, rolled right and fired a strike to Wyatt Lucas in the end zone.
It was a play that encompassed the composure that Wilkinson and Farragut High School displayed throughout their 33-10 victory over the Trojans on Friday, and through the early portion of the season.
“That happens after two touchdowns had been called back on that drive, so I was just happy to get the score and Gavin was just happy to get the score,” Farragut senior tight end Jacob Warren said. “He just stayed focused.
“We’re going to face adversity, and it’s about how you handle it and how you come back from it. He handled it very well. He’s definitely composed back there.”
The Admirals (3-0, 1-0 Region 1-5A) have needed that poise from both Wilkinson and junior quarterback Jake Evans in relief of senior Max Travis, who underwent finger surgery three weeks ago.
It was Wilkinson, though, that got the start and the majority of the playing time Friday, completing 15 of his 24 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns.
“I just have to play as good as I can,” Wilkinson said. “Jake and I have been competing for a backup spot and once Max went down, it was my time to shine and let the coaches know that I can start.”
Wilkinson got it going early, finding senior wide receiver Andrew Williams for a 51-yard touchdown on Farragut’s second drive of the game.
Junior running back Isaiah Gibbs punched in a two-yard touchdown on the Admirals’ next drive, and then Wilkinson hit junior wide receiver Jaden Gibbs to put Farragut up 20-0 in the first quarter.
The Admirals have gotten off to quick starts all season, but they have struggled to maintain that pace, and in the second quarter they struggled again, stalling offensively due to some penalties while allowing Morristown West (1-2, 0-1) to creep into the game with 10 unanswered points before the half.
Through three games, Farragut has scored a combined 42 points in the first quarter, but just seven in the second.
“That is what you want to do, come out and be explosive early and try and take charge of the ballgame,” Farragut head coach Eddie Courtney said. “It just seems that in the second quarter we have lost focus and discipline, and we get out of sync and it’s not pretty.
“Hopefully we can start finishing the whole first half, go into halftime and then finish the whole game.”
That consistency may come when Travis makes his return under center next week against Oak Ridge after he was given one extra week to recover after having the pins in his finger removed on Monday.
“I tell him every day that I can’t wait till he gets back,” Warren said. “I love playing with him and he’s one of my best friends. Jake and Gavin have been doing a really good job, so you can’t complain about what they are doing, but Max can take us to another level.”