A dual-threat quarterback, Evan Fochtman had a lot of responsibility in Archbishop Spalding's zone-read offense. On most plays, he had to make a decision to run himself, hand off or pass.
On the sideline, Spalding coach Kyle Schmitt knew where he'd like the ball to go against an opponent's defensive alignment, and most of the time that's where Fochtman sent it.
This fall, in leading the No. 2 Cavaliers to second-place in the area's toughest league — the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference — Fochtman gained 2,883 total yards and scored 34 touchdowns. The Cavaliers averaged 44 points per game and 43 in the A Conference.
Fochtman, 6-feet-1 and 180 pounds, threw for 1,747 yards and 20 touchdowns on 128-for-207 passing with nine interceptions. He ran 153 times for 1,120 yards and 14 touchdowns.
"Evan is just a dynamic player who's incredibly intelligent," Schmitt said. "His understanding of what we're trying to accomplish on offense is so good, and he makes really good decisions both pre-snap and post-snap on about 75 or 80 percent of our offensive play calls… I think we ask a lot of him, but Evan makes it basic, because his decision-making is so good."
The Cavaliers finished 9-2, with their losses coming by a total of nine points — 20-14 to Good Counsel and 32-29 to No. 1 St. Frances.
Against St. Frances, Fochtman threw two first-half interceptions but he rallied Spalding from an 18-0 halftime deficit with three touchdown passes, a scoring run and two conversion runs. He was 22-for-31 passing for 234 yards.
"Evan knows the Spalding offense extremely well and it's a complicated offense," St. Frances coach Henry Russell said, "... The problem for a defensive coach is he can the run ball, he can throw it, he knows where to get his players the ball in open spaces. He presents a lot of challenges for a defensive coordinator to try to slow him down because I don't think you can stop him."
A couple of keys to his success have been his ability to pick up "hidden yards" and to distribute the ball to multiple receivers, Schmitt said.
The hidden yards don't appear on the stat sheet, but Fochtman's ability to read a defensive end, freeze him and give the ball to a back — especially tailback Julius Chestnut, who ran for 945 yards and 21 touchdowns — were akin to assist, Schmitt said.
When he threw the ball, Fochtman had 14 possible receivers over the course of the season. He hit five of them for 14 or more receptions, and three of them for 23 or more. Those three averaged at least 14.1 yards per catch.
"His explosive play count is just incredible," Schmitt said. "We call an explosive play a run over 12 yards or a pass over 16 yards, and he averages five or six a game, if not more. ... He's spreading the ball all around the field."
Fochtman committed to play at Navy this week. He will play in the Maryland Crab Bowl senior All-Star game on Dec. 18 at Bowie State.