Mater Dei improves to 3-0 with significant win over Servite
Photo Credit: Kyusung Gong (Orange County Register)
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA— When it comes to Southern California High School Football, it doesn’t get any more competitive than the Trinity League. The conference hosts two of the best teams not only in the state, but, arguably, the entire nation in Mater Dei and St. John Bosco. In a season unlike many others, one with no postseason and limited regular season games, the talent-rich and skilled Mater Dei Monarchs remained the same. The Monarchs came in to Week 3 of the football season per usual, undefeated at 2-0, and ready to take on their next test. However, their next test would be a rather difficult one, against a team that is making a strong case to make the Trinity League Championship a three-team race. The Servite Friars were coming off of a tough loss last week against St. John Bosco. But after playing well in that game, they were ready to bounce back and knock off a giant. But in the Trinity League, experience matters, and it showed tonight.
The Mater Dei defense started the game off strong, as cornerback, Cameron Sidney, intercepted a pass from Servite quarterback, Noah Fifita, and took it 22 yards into the end zone to make the game 7-0 within the first six seconds of the game (PAT good). However, Servite had an answer. After the Friars were forced to punt on their next possession, a muffed punt recovered by Servite put the Friars at the Mate Dei 37-yard line. Servite was able to get inside the Mater Dei 10-yard line, but the Monarch defense stopped them there. The Friars were forced to kick a 26-yard field goal, and the first quarter ended with a score 7-3 (PAT good).
The second quarter started with how Mater Dei vs. Servite games usually go, a game with many penalties. After both teams were forced to punt, Marceese Yetts found room to run for the Monarchs, breaking loose for a 77-yard touchdown to put Mater Dei up 14-3 (PAT good). But Servite wouldn’t go away that easily, as Noah Fifita scrambled found his favorite target, Tetairoa McMillan, going across the middle of the field. He was able to find his way into the end zone, and made the score 14-10 (PAT good).
The Monarchs were brought to 4th down and 3 on their next possession, but freshman quarterback, Elijah Brown, came up clutch. He was able to find wide receiver, CJ Williams, to get to the Servite 1-yard line. Running back, Raleek Brown, then capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown to extend Mater Dei’s lead to 21-10 (PAT good). Servite punted on their next possession, and the first half ended with Mater Dei in the lead 21-10.
After Mater Dei started the third quarter with a three and out, Servite was able to take advantage. Noah Fifita led the Friars down the field, and ran up the middle for a touchdown to make the score 21-17 (PAT good). With both teams forced to punt on their next possessions, the third quarter ended with the score 21-17.
Servite was forced to punt once again to start the fourth quarter, but the Mater Dei defense blocked the punt, and tackled the Servite runner. The Monarchs started with great field position at their own 42-yard line. Because of this, Mater Dei was able to put points on the board. Chase Meyer kicked a 35-yard field goal to make the score 24-17.
The Monarchs then burned off as much clock as they could, and Servite had one last shot to tie the game with more than a minute and a half left in the game. The Monarchs didn’t let the Friars put any points on the board, as a big sack brought Servite to 4th down and 7. However, a pass interference penalty on Mater Dei kept Servite’s hopes alive. But the Monarchs came up with another big sack, and finished the game strong. When the wild game ended, Mater Dei emerged victorious with a 24-17 win.
Mater Dei improves to 3-0 on the season, and remains one of the top teams, if not the top team, in the state of California. The Monarchs will take on Santa Margarita next week, who are 2-1, on Friday, April 9th at 7 PM PT (10 PM ET). Servite suffers their second loss in a row, falling to 2-2. The Friars will hope to bounce back once again, as they take on JSerra Catholic on Friday, April 9th at 7 PM PT (10 PM ET).