Yianni Gavalas simply continues to astound at quarterback with nearly unfathomable efficiency.
Gavalas tossed four touchdown passes for the third consecutive week as No. 9 Post pummeled NE-10 rival Stonehill, 51-16, on Saturday afternoon at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium in Old Westbury.
“This is just the product of my teammates making it easier for me,” said Gavalas, who completed 35 of 43 passes for 406 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
The Pioneers led 13-0 about halfway through the first quarter thanks to Gavalas’ first two touchdown tosses.
A 17-yard touchdown pass to the back of the end zone to Michael Richardson opened the scoring as the offense completed a 75-yard drive in 1:40. Post failed to convert the extra point.
Richardson had a phenomenal day of his own, hauling in eight receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought they gave away the inside a lot,” Richardson of the Skyhawks’ defense. “That allowed us to catch a lot of inside passes, which really worked in our favor.”
Gavalas later fired a pass over the middle to Amir Crenshaw on 3rd-and-5 for a 10-yard touchdown pass at the 6:34 mark to extend the Pioneers’ lead to 13.
“Gavalas is very poised and runs the offense very well,” Post head coach Bryan Collins said. “He spreads the ball around very well and gets everybody involved.”
Despite accumulating 393 yards of total offense in the first half, and 606 yards overall (200 rushing between eight players), it wasn’t smooth sailing the whole way for Post.
A fumble by Gavalas on his own 2-yard line rolled through the end zone for a safety to give Stonehill its first points of the day with 4:45 to go in the first.
Brian Kearns Jr. blazed 49 yards through the middle untouched for Stonehill’s first touchdown early in the second to cut the Post lead to 13-8. Jared Chester blocked the ensuing extra point attempt for the Pioneers.
An 11-play, 76-yard drive concluded with Kearns’ second touchdown and quarterback Matt Foltz’s two-point conversion run to provide the Skyhawks with their first lead at 16-13 with 6:38 remaining in the first half.
With Post trailing for the first time all afternoon, Gavalas displayed his leadership skills during the brief period of uncertainty.
“Just stay in the game,” Gavalas said he told his teammates. “The game’s four quarters.”
Post swiftly responded less than a minute-and-a-half later with a 28-yard touchdown reception by Crenshaw reclaim a four-point lead.
A scamper into the end zone by Malik Pierre extended the Pioneers’ advantage to 27-16 with 47 seconds left before the half.
The Pioneers weren’t content.
Jake Carlock’s interception moments later led to a 2-yard Pierre touchdown carry, and an 18-point lead entering the locker room.
“I was very pleased with the defense,” Collins said. “That’s a very high-powered offense.”
Post added a field goal and two more touchdowns, including Gavalas’ second touchdown connection with Richardson, in the second half to run away with the victory.
“As long as we execute every week I think we’re good enough to play with anyone,” Gavalas said.