The Prospector: Mount Dora QBs Vegas Harley, Mitchell Bourne eye 1,000+ passing yards each

Mount Dora QB Vegas Harley

Mount Dora QB Vegas Harley (STEPHEN M. DOWELL/ORLANDO SENTINEL)

The 5-2 Mount Dora football team is in good hands with their flashy, athletic quarterback that has every coach in Central Florida wishing they too had a Vegas Harley. We're not talking about a motorcycle here, but if we were, Vegas Harley would probably be the Harley Davidson Super Glide Custom, style kicked up a notch.

However, he's not the only bike in the garage for Mount Dora coach Chad Grabowski. Mitchell Bourne is the senior backup to Harley, who is a junior.

Bourne is more like a Harley Davidson Classic Soft Tail. He's old school. He drops back and zips beads all over the field, to receivers like Marcus Brown (45 catches, 826 yards and nine touchdowns).

Grabowski has a unique situation. The Hurricanes' starting quarterback and his back-up both could end the season as 1,000-yard passers. Bourne did pile on in one game that Harley missed, shredding Leesburg for 464 yards and four touchdowns. That showed his passing prowess.

With three games left in the regular season -- Williston, Ocala Trinity Catholic and Belleview -- Bourne needs 133 yards to reach 1,000 (he has 867) and Harley needs 389 (he has 611).

"It is a unique situation," Grabowski said. "A lot schools struggle to get just one, and it's not just high school, even in college, really. It would be a neat record … something that's never happened at Mount Dora, for sure."

It hardly happens anywhere.

The last Florida quarterbacks to share that distinction were Plant High's duo of Aaron Murray and Phillip Ely during the 2008 season. Murray got hurt midway through his senior year and Ely, a sophomore then. came on the guide Plant to the state title. Murray is now the starting QB at Georgia and Ely is an Alabama commitment in his senior year at Plant, which has won two straight state titles, one in 4A and then last year in 5A.

As for Mount Dora, which has it's own playoff goals in Class 2B, Harley is the dual-threat quarterback. He can throw it or tuck it and run. That's what makes him so dangerous. He could even wind up a with 1,000 yards rushing and a 1,000 yards passing. The rushing part should be easy. He currently has 877.

He'll have his choice of major colleges from which to choose.

"We've been using Vegas more now because he's able to run and do more things with the ball," Grabowski said. "Opposing coaches always tell me after the game how preparing for him and playing against him is just a nightmare."

Bourne is the designated passer. His completion percentage could be better than the 48-percent clip he's currently holding, but he's efficient, having thrown 10 TDs and just four interceptions.

"We do use Mitchell in situations. If we have a drive where we know we need to pass, we feel comfortable getting him in there," Grabowski said. "Mitchell has been very good about everything. He works hard, he's a team player and he's taken advantage of the reps he's gotten. Ivy League schools are looking at him because of his grades. He'll get a chance to play at the next level."

Harvard has invited Bourne to see the Harvard-Yale game at the end of the season, and he has also talked to Holy Cross of the Patriot League.

Mount Dora can clinch its first playoff berth since 2007 with a win over Williston on Friday. A win over Ocala Trinity Catholic in two weeks would give the 'Canes their first district title in 17 years.

Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at chays@orlandosentinel.com.
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