Feeling young and unstoppable – Matadors led by sophomore quarterback

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Mount Miguel is not a favorite to win the Grossmont Valley League this year, but quarterback Jacob Laverdiere’s flash of brilliance shows they might be in consideration by the time he graduates in 2021.

Laverdiere torched Valhalla for 368 yards and four touchdowns in the Matadors’ 25-13 road win on Friday, Aug. 31.

“It’s a learning process for me,” Laverdiere said. “I’m so young I can learn so much.”

Mount Miguel is not a favorite to win the Grossmont Valley League this year, but quarterback Jacob Laverdiere’s flash of brilliance shows they might be in consideration by the time he graduates in 2021.

Laverdiere torched Valhalla for 368 yards and four touchdowns in the Matadors’ 25-13 road win on Friday, Aug. 31.

“It’s a learning process for me,” Laverdiere said. “I’m so young I can learn so much.”

Head coach Troy Starr says he did not plan on building around the 5-foot-8 sophomore, but an undersized, inexperienced roster forced his hand.

“We’ve got a lot of new guys playing this year, just not a lot of experience coming back,” Starr said. “Our tenth grade quarterback, at times he looked really, really good. He’s still got a ways to go though.”

Laverdiere displayed his youth when he threw an interception to Valhalla senior defensive back Jordan Arrollada on the opening drive. Arrollada picked him off again on the Mount Miguel’s second drive. Both times the Matadors defense held the Norsemen to a three-and-out.

Back under center for a third drive with the jitters out of the way, Laverdiere connected with senior receiver Jadd Mallard for an 80-yard touchdown and the 6-0 lead.

“I had to learn from all those mistakes I made early,” Laverdiere said. “I have to fix them throughout the game.”

Starr expressed his frustration to his assistant coaches in the second quarter when Mallard beat his man on a post round and Laverdiere’s sailed high.

“Those are touchdowns,” Starr said on the sideline. “Those are touchdowns. Those are touchdowns.”

Starr’s frustration eased in the second half. Trailing Valhalla 7-6, Laverdiere tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to senior Erik Graham on the first possession of the third quarter to make it 12-7.

By the fourth quarter, Laverdiere was playing beyond his years. He connected with junior Dominic Morales for a 75-yard touchdown, increasing the lead to 18-7.

Valhalla cut the lead to 18-13, but Laverdiere again connected with Morales for 69 yards, putting Mount Miguel on the four-yard line. Laverdiere capped the drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to junior Jaheim Allen.

Laverdiere says Mount Miguel is just getting started.

“We are going to surprise a lot of people, that’s how I feel,” Laverdiere said. “Especially a young team, we’ll be something. They’ll remember us.”

Mount Miguel lost to Santa Fe Christian on Friday, 42-32, in the first of three Touchdowns Against Cancer games. They play Imperial at home on Friday, Sept. 14.

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