East County Sports

Laverdiere, Matadors find new way to win




EL CAJON – Mount Miguel senior quarterback J.D. “Crazy Legs” Laverdiere rushed for 206 yards and two touchdowns as the Matadors defeated El Cajon Valley, 21-13, on Friday night at Priest Field.

Laverdiere, the most prolific passer in school history, decided that utilizing a quarterback keeper was the way to best overcome the Braves, who limited the star to just 92 yards on 22 attempts. He completed nine passes.

The teams played one of the most competitive games in the entire county on the evening.

Mount Miguel senior Jojo Castillo had a pair of interceptions in the second half. The first came on the first series of the third quarter.

The Matadors scored on the next possession to extend a one-point halftime lead.

Laverdiere did most of the work, including a 35-yard run to the 2 where he was knocked out of bounds.

Junior Ruben Hernandez then rushed straight in for the score. The PAT “double-doinked” and was no good. Hernandez carried 11 times for 54 yards on the night.

El Cajon Valley junior Jayden Barnett then caught a 53-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Joe Malone on the first play of the next series.

Malone passed for 121 yards but his contribution on defense was likely greater, making a team-high 10 tackles, including some hard-hitting stops. He also rushed for 28 yards and took some of the Matadors’ best shots, as well.

Barnett finished with three pass receptions for 100 yards.

The teams were sportingly hype on each other if there is such a thing. These guys were going face mask-to-face mask after hard-hitting plays with plenty of talk, only to tap each other on the helmet when separated. The competitive spirit due to the long delay in playing an actual football game was evident. The respect was obvious, as well.

One key play in the last 30 seconds saw Malone forced from the game for a play after his helmet was knocked off on the game’s final drive.

The Braves thwarted the Matadors on a potential game-clinching drive but were faced with 99 yards of turf and just a little more than two minutes to get there.

Mount Miguel senior Daelen Hayden caught six passes for 72 yards for the Matadors. Hayden somehow caught a 35-yard reception from J.D. down the left sideline

Laverdiere had his first touchdown in the second quarter as the Matadors led 7-6 at halftime.

The Braves defense came up big by forcing a fumble at their own 6 with 4:13 to play in the third quarter, but El Cajon Valley gave it right back on the next play, which allowed the Matadors to regain the ball in scoring range.

Laverdiere took off again for the decisive score on an 8-yard run.

Sophomore Yasir Blair had an interception for El Cajon Valley (0-1).



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