When Trenton Bourguet was 13 years old, he caught the eye of one of the nation’s most renowned quarterback trainers. George Whitfield has trained the likes of Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and former Arizona quarterback Matt Scott.
Bourguet was barely a teenager, but he threw a tight spiral and was intimately familiar with the X’s and O’s of football.
Whitfield invited Bourguet to be a youth football representative at the Elite 11 quarterback competition in Oregon. This is the best of the best, with all the top-rated high school senior quarterbacks in the nation in one place. Bourguet observed and learned.
Bourguet knows what an elite quarterback looks like. He may be one, too.
The Marana High School junior completed 20 of 34 passes for 477 yards and five touchdowns in last week’s 57-50 loss to Cienega. He may have outplayed the Bobcats’ Jamarye Joiner, an Arizona-bound quarterback viewed to be one of the area’s best. Joiner threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 170 yards and five scores. The teams combined to score 107 points and gain 1,287 yards; they finished with a total 37 first downs.
“It felt like a heavyweight fight,” Bourguet said.
Cienega led 3-0 after the first quarter. Marana jumped ahead 19-17 after the second quarter, and led 36-27 after three. The Bobcats pulled away in the fourth, scoring 30 points in the quarter to cement the win.
“We think we’re a better football team then giving up 57 points,” said Marana coach Andy Litten. “But for us to have 700 total yards, that has something to say about what we do.”
Bourguet proved his mettle against one Southern Arizona’s best teams. He performed well in a close loss to Ironwood Ridge a week earlier, too, passing for 376 yards and two touchdowns, though he also threw four interceptions. The 5-foot-11-inch, 160-pound Bourguet may finish this season as Southern Arizona’s passing leader, even if his size and frame don’t scream Division I recruit. Colleges haven’t come calling yet.
“It really isn’t Jamarye vs. Trenton,” Litten said. “Trenton does a good job. Probably the best thing he does is stay within our system and then when the system breaks down he can create. … Trenton is one of the smartest kids I’ve ever coached. That really helps, when you have a coach on the field.”
Bourguet has been a part of the Tigers’ program since he was a boy. He made his varsity debut as a freshman, replacing the injured Connor Leavens and playing in three games.
Bourguet came prepared. The week after Leavens went down was fall break, but Bourguet came into school and studied the playbook and game film every day from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
He learned plays, signs, protections, the whole system. Marana went 3-0 with him at the helm.
As a sophomore, he split quarterbacking duties with Leavens and threw for 1,397 yards and 15 touchdowns with a 65.5 percent completion percentage. He was intercepted just five times.
Marana went 9-3 and won a state playoff game.
Now Bourguet is the full-time starter. Though the Tigers are 0-2 after playing the two toughest opponents on their schedule, there’s reason to believe that won’t last. Marana will host Tempe McClintock (1-0) on Friday night.
“A lot of people overlook us because we’re from Marana, because we’re not the biggest team or the fastest team,” Bourguet said. “But I like it because I know that we’re going to outwork anybody and when we step out on the field, we let our play do the talking.”
It helps to have Bourguet.
“You’re seeing what he can do,” Litten said, “and all the things that make him special.”