Chris Ferguson was the 10th of 11 children growing up in his family's Fort Washington household, so perhaps surviving in a brood that size taught him how to wait his turn.
The La Salle High quarterback has done just that during his tenure with the Explorers.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder played understudy for two seasons after Kyle Shurmur transferred in from Ohio three years ago. Before that, Ferguson was a freshman at Upper Dublin in competition with a talented quarterback whose father was also the head coach.
Now, however, Ferguson is the No. 1 quarterback of the La Salle team that upset two-time defending Catholic League champion St. Joseph's Prep and won the Explorers' first Class AAAA city title since 2012.
"I think you can say now that it all paid off and I wouldn't change it," Ferguson said. "This year's been great and I can definitely say I've worked hard in the offseason and the past three years to get to this point. It's awesome to see all that waiting pay off and all that time I spent when I wasn't sure where the path was going to lead me. But I think it all worked out."
The senior was 8 for 11 passing for 129 yards and two touchdowns against the Prep. Next up, Ferguson and La Salle (8-3) will face Parkland (12-1) of District 11 on Saturday in the PIAA AAAA quarterfinals at Northeast High.
Quarterback Ryan Stover and Upper Dublin will face North Penn in another quarterfinal matchup. The winner will face La Salle or Parkland next weekend.
Ferguson's mind-set is focused on the present.
"Junior year I talked to one of my [school] counselors and he would tell me about immediate gratification and that all the work I put in would eventually pay off," Ferguson said. ". . . I kind of learned within myself to be more patient and just trust the process."
His resolve was tested again this season when quarterback Isaiah Jones transferred in from Germantown Academy after rushing for more than 1,000 yards as a freshman with the Patriots.
Jones has been used throughout the season in a package of plays at quarterback, but Ferguson takes the majority of the snaps.
The biggest adjustment after winning the starting job, Ferguson said, wasn't about X's and O's.
"I played junior varsity games last year and coming in this year it was about learning how to carry yourself during a game and stay calm and collected when something goes awry because it all happens so fast," he said.
Ferguson's father, Pat, was a defensive end at Bishop McDevitt. The QB has completed 57.5 percent of his passes (95 of 165) for 1,336 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.
Ferguson said he has received interest from a few Division I-AA schools but is still awaiting an offer.
In the meantime, his focus is on winning, not waiting.
"I am extremely proud of what this team has done so far," Ferguson said. " . . .To block out all the people that said we could not do it and then prove them wrong is something that ultimately brought us together as a team and shows just how special this La Salle team is."
Top performers. Imhotep junior Mike Crawford forced, recovered and returned a fumble 68 yards in the Panthers' 20-14 win against Archbishop Wood in the AAA City title game. The Panthers' Mike Waters added 85 yards rushing, a touchdown and a fourth-quarter interception in the victory. . . . La Salle's Syaire Madden added 174 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the Explorers' victory.
Bishop McDevitt's Dontae Mason had 85- and 86-yard kickoff return touchdowns and a 55-yard scoring reception in the Lancers' 35-19, Class A win against Marian Catholic.
Imhotep ranked. Imhotep was ranked 24th in the USA Today Super 25 national football rankings. Imhotep (12-0) plays District 1 champ Academy Park (13-0) on Friday in the PIAA quarterfinals at Plymouth Whitemarsh.