Mater Dei quarterback competition nearing a decision

August 21st, 2015, 11:59 pm ·

· posted by DAN ALBANO

SANTA ANA - Matt McDonald started the scrimmage and zipped a short touchdown pass through traffic to wide receiver C.J. Parks to cap an early Mater Dei possession.

JT Daniels finished off the Monarchs' final possession by firing about a 15-yard dart on a curl route to wide out AJ Collins, who made the catch, spun away from a charging cornerback and bolted another 15 yards into the end zone.

Mater Dei's quarterback competition entered its fourth quarter Friday night as the Monarchs scrimmaged against visiting Fountain Valley in preparation for their season-opener against Bishop Amat on Aug. 28 at Santa Ana Stadium.

And when it was over, both quarterbacks performed well enough to give their coaches plenty to ponder over the weekend.

“I thought that they both did a good job,” Mater Dei football coach Bruce Rollinson said of the junior McDonald and the freshman Daniels. “We’ll make the decision (on a starter) this weekend. You want that competition but I’m pleased with both of their performances.”

Daniels also threw a TD strike sophomore wide out Amon-Ra St. Brown in the first session while McDonald stood out on zone-read runs.

Rollinson said of McDonald, son of former USC quarterback Paul McDonald: “McDonald took it up. He was kind of plateauing. He just didn’t seem to have that zip and I thought he raised the level of his game. I thought he had some really well-placed balls.”

Rollinson said of Daniels: “The young freshman, you can see, he’s got the arm. He’s got the talent.”

Rollinson was asked if the runner-up in the quarterback competition would still play for the Monarchs.

“That’s probably going to be the discussion,” he said. “Do we play them both. Do we not play them both. If I were to have to make the decision now, I would see how one of them manages the game. If he’s not getting it done, I’m certainly not afraid to put the young kid, JT, in there. …

“If it’s JT and the game is too big for him, we make a switch. They both bring a lot to the table. It’s a nice situation to have.”

In other scrimmage highlights for Mater Dei, running back Brandon LaMarche broke a long TD run early in the second session, safety Roman Kafentzis collected two interceptions and defensive end Kapono Laguisan recorded two sacks.

Wide receiver Osiris St. Brown (toe) didn't play but Rollinson said the injury wasn't serious.

As for Fountain Valley highlights, Barons coach Ray Fenton praised running back George Sykes, Kent Swift at linebacker, linebacker Blake Vasquez and defensive tackle Keiti Iakopo.

Please send football news to Dan Albano at or on Twitter at @ocvarsityguy


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