Friday was senior night at Monterey Trail High School, and wouldn’t it be fitting if the leading act was allowed to take an extra bow and wave?
That would be Zach Larrier.
He proudly burdens quite a load on campus. The quarterback and three-sport star packs a 4.0 GPA and a lot of pop in his game.
Larrier’s three sizzling touchdown sprints keyed a 41-6 rout for the No. 3 Mustangs past Burbank in a Metro League contest at Mark Macres Stadium that inches the program toward school history.
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At 8-0 and yet to be challenged for long after the national anthem in the Metro, Monterey Trail is fast closing in on its first 10-0 season since opening in the Elk Grove Unified School District in 2004.
Larrier is a signal caller now but likely a cornerback in college, or a track athlete. And he’s quite a basketball player, too. He believes in the concept of playing as many sports as possible.
His coaches at school — all of them — encourage the theme as well. Larrier scored on runs of 70, 3 and 20 yards and finished with 112 yards. He also made plays on defense, and he has another quality that inspires teammates and coaches.
“He’s a leader,” said Monterey Trail coach TJ Ewing, the only head varsity football coach in program history. “Everyone likes to be around (Larrier). I saw that in middle school. Kids just follow him.”
On the senior night theme, Andrew Almonte, Jehiel Budgett and Thaddeus Hill also got into the end zone. Almonte’s 23-yard fumble return for a score gave the Mustangs a 21-0 lead, and Hill’s 47-yard scoring run made it 27-0.
Budgett’s 35-yard run made it 41-6 early in the fourth quarter. He finished with 117 yards.
The unsung heroes again for Monterey Trail were offensive linemen Andreas Argumedo, Noah Casarez, Daniel Ramirez, Lathun Snipes and Anthony Thompson, and tight ends Jasdev Banwait and Brandon Hwa.
The defense, headed by Marcus Jones all season, recorded five sacks.
Monterey Trail has twice reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I finals. The Mustangs target a return, eager for a shot at top-ranked Folsom, winners of six section banners this decade.
The Mustangs don’t expect to get challenged the rest of the Metro season, closing with Laguna Creek and McClatchy, two teams struggling to stay afloat this season.
Monterey Trail was not delighted with the realignment shift entering this academic year that moved it from the Delta League and fellow EGUSD programs into the Metro. But it was not a football-only decision.
The section has realigned leagues every four years for decades in an effort to maintain a semblance of competitive equity.
Monterey Trail’s football team is overwhelming the Metro, having outscored opponents 167-6. Each game has had a running clock, sometimes to start the second half.
But Ewing doesn’t allow for complainers within his program. Just effort.