East County Sports

Laverdieres combine to score all 29 in win

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

MOUNT MIGUEL 29, VALHALLA 24

 

 

By Jim Lindgren

SPRING VALLEY – It’s hard to decipher who was more pleased with a final PAT in Mount Miguel’s 29-24 win over Valhalla on Friday night – the rookie kicker, the star quarterback, or the stat mongers throughout the state and country who will salivate over this one for a spell.

The 5-foot-2, 125-pound junior kicker boomed it straight down the middle and long enough for perhaps a 35- to 40-yard field goal.

SHE then raced off the field to give her senior quarterback a flying chest bump and bear hug that will make a great family photo one day.

Julianna Laverdiere scored the Matadors’ 29th point on Friday after her brother Jacob supplied the first 28.

They are, quite possibly, the highest-scoring brother-sister scoring combination in the history of high school football … anywhere!

“I’m not too sure if she is or not,” Jacob said, “but to me, her making that (extra point kick) was the biggest accomplishment for the family.

“It was bigger than football, and it was right down the center.”

Of course, it was Jacob who set it up. First, by convincing his sister to come out for football this spring. And then by rushing for four touchdowns to give her a chance to make history. Jacob had converted a pair of 2-pointers earlier in the game to give him 28 points.

Julianna made it 29 for the Laverdieres.

“I guarantee you that’s got to be a state record,” Mt. Miguel coach Troy Starr said. “Most combined points by a brother and sister.”

Julianna, who is also playing on the girls’ soccer team, became the first female in Mt. Miguel history to score in football. Also in the game, Jacob became the first player in Matador history to rush 37 times in a game. He gained 172 yards rushing and also passed for 91 yards, connecting on 10-of-16 passes with two interceptions.

The last interception was almost critical. Ahead 29-17 with just over 2 minutes remaining, Laverdiere inadvisably threw into the right flat looking to pick up a first down. Instead, Gavin Nagal picked it off and raced 60 yards for a touchdown and put the Norsemen in position to steal a win with a successful onside kick.

Mt. Miguel covered the onside kick and Valhalla got it back with 10 seconds left, but a final pass was intercepted and the Matadors had their second victory in two games.

“In 33 years of coaching that was probably the poorest decision I’ve seen by a quarterback,” Starr said. “And he knows it.”

Jacob Laverdiere should know better. In his previous two seasons, Laverdiere had attempted 666 passes and completed 388 for 6,256 yards and 59 touchdowns … in just 21 games.

This spring’s receiving corps has been stripped, however, with the graduation of Jaheim Allen-Pompey, injuries to expected returners and, well, the fact it is spring and some athletes chose to opt out or play other sports. In 2019, Allen-Pompey earned All-CIF honors with 110 catches for 2,074 yards and 23 TDs.

So, Starr has turned his star quarterback into a run-first option-type QB. Laverdiere gained only 231 rushing yards in two years, although he did have 18 rushing TDs last season.

In this spring’s first game, he gained 206 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries to beat El Cajon Valley 21-13. He now has 378 yards and six TDs heading into this Friday’s game against visiting Santana (2-0). He has also scored 42 of the Matadors’ 50 points.

Lest we forget, Laverdiere did complete some passes. Joseph Castillo (57 yards) and Jorge Verduzco (22) had four receptions each, and Daelen Hayden added two for 12 yards.

Jarrell Loredo had a sack on defense and interceptions were posted by Eric White and Castillo, who now has three picks in two games.

Nagal had two interceptions for Valhalla. QB Luke Pillsbury was 6-of-8 passing for 66 yards and a touchdown. But Valhalla trailed 14-3 at halftime and 22-10 heading into the fourth quarter after a length-of-the-field drive and 2-yard touchdown run. Though they knew what was coming, they simply couldn’t stop No. 5, who scored again in the fourth quarter.

“The defense was huge,” Jacob Laverdiere said. “Once our offense got (going), my defense stood up and closed the door for us. It’s really our whole defense who helped us close it out. Every player was a key factor to it, and we needed everyone on the defense.”

Thanks for the commentary and another great game, Jacob. But the game ball goes to little sister, Julianna Laverdiere!

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