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Alvis energizes Costa Mesa

Junior quarterback's career night last week led the Mustangs to their first win of year against La Quinta.

October 07, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
(Scott Smeltzer…)

Nathan Alvis sees himself as a quarterback that might surprise some at Costa Mesa High.

In the locker room before a recent football practice, teammates teased Alvis. They called Alvis, "Michael Vick," before he headed off to the field.

Alvis throws left-handed and wears No. 7 like Vick, the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. Coach Jeremy Osso says Alvis is less like Vick, more like Steve Young.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Alvis believes he has seen highlights of the former San Francisco 49er great.

"He doesn't know who Steve Young is," Osso said with a grin.

Alvis was barely walking when Young threw a Super Bowl record six touchdown passes in San Francisco's 49-26 victory against the San Diego Chargers on Jan. 29, 1995.

The NFL quarterback Alvis sees similarities in is not like Young or Vick when it comes to hurting teams throwing and running the ball.

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"I like Drew Brees a lot," Alvis said of the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints. "I like his mentality, a game-winning mentality."

Alvis got his first taste of victory last week as the starting quarterback at Costa Mesa. The junior had more than a hand in helping the Mustangs' end a 0-4 start to the season.

Alvis won like Brees, but he turned in a Young- and Vick-like performance against La Quinta. He threw a career-high four touchdown passes and ran for a career-high two touchdowns, recording more than 100 yards through the air and on the ground in Costa Mesa's 53-17 nonleague victory.

"We all realized that we couldn't go 0-5," said Alvis, who made sure the Mustangs avoided their second 0-5 start in three years. "It was a must-win for us."

Alvis feels the same about the Mustangs' next five-game stretch, which begins on Oct. 14 against Godinez. He believes the Orange Coast League is theirs to win.

Alvis said the start to this season is similar to the one Costa Mesa took the last time it claimed the league crown in 2008. Alvis was not on varsity back then when the Mustangs began with five losses, losing by an average of 33.2 points per game.

The games this season have been more competitive for the most part. Two of the losses have been by a combined six points, coming in back-to-back weeks.

Alvis has been a difference-maker in the offense's progress. For a first-year starter, he makes few mistakes, throwing only two interceptions to eight touchdowns.

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