With three years as a starter and two first-team All-Idaho selections, Homedale football coach Matt Holtry should have seen all Lawsen Matteson has to offer.
But the senior quarterback still continues to shock his coach.
Holtry points to the Trojans’ second game this fall. Oregon’s Vale brought repeated pressure to start the game. With the Trojans nearing the goal line in the first quarter, Matteson sniffed out another blitz, then audibled into a 17-yard TD pass to John Collett right into the hole the blitz vacated.
“I turned to my quarterbacks coach (Hayden Wright) and said, ‘He just took that next step,’ ” Holtry recalled. “It’s one thing to go out there and do it at a high level. It’s another thing to go out there and change what we’re running into the perfect call.”
Homedale rolled to a 40-7 victory that night behind Matteson’s 311 passing yards and five TDs, numbers the 6-foot, 180-pounder has turned into a ho-hum routine.
Matteson enters a 3A state quarterfinal against Parma (5-4) at 7 p.m. Friday at Homedale (8-1) completing 67 percent of his passes for 2,463 yards, 34 TDs and nine interceptions. The numbers have boosted his career totals to 7,059 yards, 84 TDs and 29 interceptions since Holtry inserted him as the starter to begin his sophomore year.
273.67 Passing yards per game Lawsen Matteson is averaging this season
Even with a senior-heavy squad in 2013, Holtry didn’t hesitate to hand over the keys of the offense to Matteson. Holtry spotted him as a middle schooler and noticed the arm and the accuracy. But it was his mental grasp of the game that allowed Holtry to plug him in as a sophomore.
“He’s so detail oriented,” Holtry said. “Right when you think, ‘Hey, he’s doing really good,’ he gets better at something else, whether it’s play-action or his footwork on his pass drops. It’s just little things like that that you didn’t think he could get better at, but he does.
“He’s very much a perfectionist. But that comes with being a 4.0 student. He always wants to be the best. He always wants to be the top of the class, don’t leave any doubt.”
Matteson credits his father, former Homedale quarterback Mike Matteson, with instilling that drive for perfection. And the fact he has yet to lead Homedale to a state title keeps him from resting on his lofty stats and accolades.
You can’t settle for what you’ve got right now. You can’t dwell on your past. You’ve got to keep pushing for more. We’ve never gone that far, never got that state championship, and that has helped push me to what I want to achieve.
Homedale quarterback Lawsen Matteson
Matteson focused that drive to diagnosing defenses this summer, allowing him to make that audible for Collett’s walk-in touchdown. And Holtry said it’s always running at practice, allowing the coach to adjust his game plan week to week.
“It’s kind of an open playbook because of what he’s able to do and how smart he is,” Holtry said. “We can add things during a week’s game plan that we haven’t practiced the whole season, and it’s executed at a high level in the first couple snaps.
“We’ll put a new pass combo in, and he’s executing it the first or second time. Then he’s asking questions about it. What if the defense does this? Could we check to this combo? He’s always one step ahead of everybody else.”
5 300-yard passing games for Matteson this fall
Homedale quarterback Lawsen Matteson has produced each year since taking over the starting job as a sophomore.