Week one saw no shortage of exciting games but perhaps none stood out more than the Sacred Heart Prep Gators fourth quarter come from behind victory over the Archbishop Riordan Crusaders. Led by the 49ers Coach of the Week Pete Lavorato, the Gators were able to overcome a seven point second half deficit to win 24-17 on the road.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game and that we were going to get their best effort. It was on their turf and they are led by a very talented Sophomore QB in Zach Masoli," explained coach Lavorato.
Masoli is the younger brother of Bay Area and former University of Oregon standout quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli. On a foggy and windy San Francisco evening, the Gators stepped onto Riordan's artificial turf field to go to battle with a team that had not forgotten the loss from a year ago at Sacred Heart Prep.
Sacred Heart got off to rough start allowing the Crusaders to return the opening kickoff deep into their own territory and then gave up a quick touchdown on a reverse the first play from scrimmage.
"This definitely put us behind the eight-ball, we were a little too ramped up and needed to play under control," said Lavorato.
The Gators managed to tie the game up 10-10 by halftime with a touchdown run from senior fullback Will Morgan.
At halftime, coach Lavorato emphasized to his players the importance of playing disciplined football and not allowing your emotions to interfere with doing your job.
"We have good kids, they work hard and do everything we ask of them," said coach.
The Gators would be asked to do the nearly impossible—come from behind in the fourth quarter to beat a talented football team in their house.
With a little over a minute left to go in the game, senior quarterback Jack Larson threw a touchdown pass and then a two point conversion pass to junior wide receiver Ryan Gardner to take the lead 24-17. The special team's kickoff and Gator defense led by Senior outside linebackers Luke Thomas and Fatu Tupou then did their jobs to close out the game.
Coach Pete Lavorato is a Utah State alum and played nine years in the CFL as a free safety for the Edmonton Eskimos from 1975 to 1984. He lives with his wife Nancy in Saratoga and is now in his 9th season as head coach of the Sacred Heart Prep Gators.
In addition to being named Coach of the Week, coach Lavorato and the Sacred Heart Prep football program will receive $1000 from the 49ers Foundation.