Nick Scrivens spends all week practicing football, and on Friday nights he plays quarterback and kicker for Churchill's football team. Then, on Sundays, much to the chagrin of his football coach, Scrivens goes out and plays soccer.
"It kills me, but he made me promise I wouldn't say anything about soccer," Churchill Coach Jamie Collins said.
As the No. 19 Bulldogs (9-1) embark on what they hope will be a lengthy postseason run, Collins more than ever wants Scrivens to give up "futbol" to make sure he stays healthy for a few more weeks of football. After becoming the team's starter in the season's third game, Scrivens -- a senior who had never played organized football until the past two months -- has helped Churchill win eight consecutive games to earn its first playoff berth since 1995.
Scrivens has completed 86 of 164 passes for 1,374 yards and 16 touchdowns while throwing only four interceptions. While Scrivens tried to pass on credit for his success to his offensive linemen and wide receivers, it is his patience and poise in the pocket that often stand out.
"He's great when he's moving around the pocket," Collins said. "He has great presence and knows where everyone is around him. It's got to be from soccer."
Scrivens is regarded as one of the area's best soccer players in his age group and plays on the Bethesda Internationals under-18 team. Freddy Adu is a former teammate and Scrivens considers him a good friend. Collins thinks that Scrivens' ability to anticipate teammates' movements on the soccer field allows him to see plays develop on the football field.
Scrivens said he transferred last school year from The Heights in part because he wanted to play football, a sport not offered at his old school. He knew he could be Churchill's kicker, but also wanted to play quarterback, a potential sticking point because the Bulldogs had a two-year returning starter in Alex Halls. Collins said he would give Scrivens a chance to compete for playing time, and after Churchill's 22-6 loss to Quince Orchard -- its opponent Friday in the Maryland 4A West Region semifinals -- Collins chose to make a switch.
"After [Quince Orchard], I decided we were going to be more dangerous with that kid on the field," Collins said.
Scrivens is coming off his best game, completing 16 of 23 passes for 280 yards and five touchdowns in a 47-7 victory over Whitman. He also kicked a pair of 29-yard field goals, put three kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks and made a well-placed onside kick that the Bulldogs recovered.
"Looks like it was a good decision," Collins said.