East County Sports

Padre CEO can cheer no-hitter, SFC win




By Jim Lindgren 

SPRING VALLEY – Proud Padre and a proud padre!

Erik Greupner must have felt rather spiritually blessed – even sensationally saintly on Cloud Nine – after watching a pair of feel-fantastic, historic achievements on Friday night.

As CEO of the San Diego Padres, Erik Greupner delighted in the fact that Grossmont High product and recent acquisition Joe Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in the 53-year history of the Padres.

As the father of a darn-good quarterback for Santa Fe Christian, Greupner was equally pleased as his son guided the Eagles to a 28-14 win over Mt. Miguel to move to 5-0 in this shortened high school football season.

Erik’s “steal” in the offseason was signing Musgrove, who tossed the first no-no in the 8,206th Padres game since its MLB debut in 1969. It was Musgrove’s second start as a Padre, and he narrowly missed a perfect game by hitting Joey Gallo in the leg in the fourth inning of a 3-0 win over the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.

Thomas Greupner, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior quarterback for Santa Fe Christian, rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries (2 were kneel-downs at the end) and was 2-for-2 passing for 35 yards as the Eagles sailed equally efficiently past Mt. Miguel (2-2).

Thomas wasn’t the star of the game, but he was critical in turning the tilt.

J.D. Laverdiere carries on Friday night against Santa Fe Christian. / photo by Liz Shawcroft

Mt. Miguel was poised to tie the game at 14-14 when Luca Torti knocked the ball from the Matadors’ Jacob Laverdiere near the goal, and Kevin Olah recovered the fumble at the 1-yard line with 0:59 to play in the first half.

Common sense called for Greupner to sneak up the middle to give the Eagles room to take a knee and a 14-7 advantage into intermission. Greupner gained 3 yards to make it happen.

However, on the next play, Greupner ran right again and picked up 5 more yards to move the ball to the 9-yard line. With the clock running, Greupner hurried his troops to the line and managed to cadence a snap with 0:01 left.

He deftly handed off to Stephen Britton on a trap play up the middle, and Britton took off on a wild-Eagle chase for a 91-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead that basically decided the game.

Britton’s run was exhausting to watch. He burst up the middle, cut right through the line, and then bolted left through the secondary before breaking free down the sideline. Not finished yet, he cut right across the green again before finding the end zone for a 91-yard TD well after the clock had expired.

“I used to watch him in seventh grade P.E, and that’s exactly what he used to do then,” SFC coach Jon Wallace said. “He makes you look like a great coach.”

Britton’s dazzling display was the biggest chunk of yet another 200-yard effort for the 6-foot, 215-pound senior who leads the San Diego Section in rushing with 1,053 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Simply because Mt. Miguel held a sizable difference in time of possession and plays (50-29), Britton only carried 14 times but put up 202 yards and three TDs.

Regarding his monster score, Britton said, “We were getting short on time. We knew it was our last play. My offensive line opened a nice hole. The receivers and wings did a great job downfield. I just couldn’t let them down.”

Britton had 175 rushing yards on eight carries in the first half with two TDs, including a 34-yarder to open a first-drive series of six plays.

The Matadors have a tremendously talented athlete as well in quarterback Jacob Laverdiere, who had averaged 310 passing yards per game in his first two seasons for Mt. Miguel. This season, he has rushed for 665 yards and 10 touchdowns after putting up 129 yards and two scores against SFC. He also threw for 150 yards on 14-for-18 passing. Laverdiere is No. 2 in the section in rushing and also showed why in the first series.

Laverdiere carried 12 times for 69 yards and was 4-for-4 passing for 11 yards on the Matadors’ first possession, a 16-play effort that took 11 minutes, 14 seconds. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior capped the tying drive with a 4-yard burst off left tackle in which he smacked an SFC defender square up to get in the end zone.

Eagles turn. Six plays, 53 yards, 14-7 lead as Britton ran for 1, 24 and 3 yards before Kreupner finished it with keepers for 13, 11, and 3 yards for the score.

Matadors turn. Eleven plays, 76 yards – but 1 yard short when Torti stripped the ball from Laverdiere for a rare fumble.

Eagles turn. Three plays, 99 yards after, well, you know, Britton’s historic charge.

Jeremiah Castillo of Mount Miguel on Friday. / photo by Liz Shawcroft

To open the second half, Mt. Miguel reeled off 13 plays and 80 yards and closed to 21-14 when Laverdiere called his number and raced off left tackle for a 9-yard TD that took 9:20 off the clock.

For the third consecutive game, junior Juliana Laverdiere, who scored four goals in her first girls’ varsity soccer game of the season earlier in the week in an 8-4 win over the Guajome Park Academy Frogs, followed her older brother with a PAT.

Two weeks ago, Jacob and Juliana set an all-time record by scoring all 29 points in a 29-24 win over Valhalla. The bro-sis had 13 of the Matadors’ 14 points on Friday, the other coming on a PAT by Saul Salagado.

Eagles turn. Ten plays, 70 yards, and a 28-14 lead after Britton rushed in from 2 yards for his 19th score of the season in five games.

Matadors turn. Ten plays, 68 yards but 5 too few as Laverdiere was stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-1 play from the 5-yard line.

Greupner then carried for 7 yards and Britton 8 before two kneels in victory formation.

“It feels great,” Britton said. “Mt. Miguel is a tough team that never quits. We were very fortunate to get a couple of stops when it mattered most.”

SFC scored on its first four possessions and had only one other to run out the final 2:31. The Eagles finished with 307 total yards.

Mt. Miguel scored on two of its four possessions for 283 yards. Last week, in a 33-23 loss to Santana, Laverdiere accounted for all 57 plays – 31 rushing for 160 yards and 6-for-26 passing for 157 yards.

Against SFC, he accounted for 48 of the Matadors’ 50 plays. Ruben Hernandez rushed two times for 4 yards. On the receiving end, Hernandez secured five passes for 63 yards. Kojo Miller added five catches for 58 yards.

Like Musgrove hitting Gallo with an errant curveball, who knows? A perfect game? Had Laverdiere not stretched it at the 1, who knows? A minute later, the fumble essentially turned into a 14-point swing – the difference in the game.

“That’s tough,” Mt. Miguel coach Troy Starr said. “He just stretched the ball out trying to score, and he knows he shouldn’t do that in that situation.

“It was a great effort, though. It was a great effort by all our guys. I couldn’t be prouder. That’s a great football team over there.”

SFC has now won three in a row over Mt. Miguel in the past three years. Starr and Wallace are friends and admirers.

“They run power (plays) six different ways; my kind of football,” Wallace said. “(Laverdiere’s) a load. That kid is remarkable. Troy has done an incredible job of recognizing that kid’s skills and adapting plays to fit him, whether it’s run or pass.”

With a COVID-related switch in the schedule, Santa Fe Christian (5-0) returns to the East County next Friday for a game at Grossmont (1-3). Mt. Miguel (2-2) finishes its spring with a trip to Monte Vista (3-1).


Santa Fe Christian  7 14 0 7 – 28   

Mt. Miguel          0  7 7 0 – 14  

SFC – Stephen Britton 34 run (Ian Austin kick)

MM – Jacob Laverdiere 4 run (Saul Salagado kick)

SFC – Thomas Greupner 3 run (Ian Austin kick)

SFC – Stephen Britton 91 run (Ian Austin kick)

MM – Jacob Laverdiere 9 run (Juliana Laverdiere kick)

SFC – Stephen Britton 7 run (Ian Austin kick)


SFC: Stephen Britton 14-202-3, Thomas Greupner 10-48-1, Perez Denney 2-14-0, Champion Whitton 1-8. Mt. Miguel: Jacob Laverdiere 30-129-2, Ruben Hernandez 2-4.


SFC: Thomas Greupner 2-2-35-0. Mt. Miguel: Jacob Laverdiere 14-18-150-0.


SFC: Zachary Marshall 2-35-0. Mt. Miguel: Ruben Hernandez 5-63-0, Kojo Miller 5-58-0, Daelen Hayden 3-13-0, Joseph Castillo 1-8-0.


SFC: Luca Torti forced fumble, batted pass; Kevin Olah fumble recovery; Zachary Marshall 11 tackles. Mt. Carmel: Jeremiah Castillo, 8 tackles.




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