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PAUL RODRIGUEZ , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
St. John Bosco's Terrence Beasley, left, sheds a tackle attempt by Mater Dei's Faavae Faavae at the 1-yard line to score a touchdown Friday night.

Mater Dei pays for mistakes in loss St. John Bosco

STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANAThe oft-mentioned “perfect game” is, in reality, a mythical feat.

But as home underdogs against the three-time defending Trinity League champs, St. John Bosco, Mater Dei undoubtedly needed to play as close to flawless as possible if it had any hopes of knocking off the high-powered Braves.

The Monarchs were far from perfect. And knowing how good this team has been at times this season, it would be a reach to say the county’s top-ranked squad even played mediocre.

Mater Dei did itself zero favors in a 42-21 loss to St. John Bosco on Friday night, dropping its first game of the season at Santa Ana Stadium.

The Monarchs (6-1, 1-1) tallied more penalty yardage (65) than it did total offense (64) in the first half, and over the course of the night, dropped nine of freshman quarterback JT Daniel’s 23 pass attempts.

POSTGAME TALK: How St. John Bosco dominated Mater Dei

“We’ve been talking about penalties, we’ve been talking about assignment mistakes, alignment mistakes, and we had them all in that first half,” Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson said. “I don’t think we ever gave ourselves a chance in that first half.”

Six Mater Dei series in the opening 24 minutes resulted in five punts, with the other being stopped short because of the halftime whistle. Conversely, St. John Bosco scored on four of its possession in taking a commanding 28-0 lead into the break.

Speedy Braves running back Sean McGrew totaled 161 yards rushing on 14 carries in the first two quarters. His 45-yard run in the first quarter set up Bosco’s opening score of the night, and his 81-yard scurry in the second put the Braves ahead 14-0.

“He’s the second fastest kid in the state this year, so all he needs is a little crease and he can go,” said Bosco coach Jason Negro, who successfully led his team to its 18th straight league victory. “We’re a fast football team. Not just in that spot, we’re fast everywhere.”

McGrew finished with 214 yards on 16 carries. His second touchdown of the game came on his second – and last – carry of the second half. After the Braves (7-0, 2-0) recovered a live ball that touched a Mater Dei player on their first punt of the third quarter, the Washington-bound back capitalized with a 56-yard touchdown run that extended the lead to 35-0.

It was one of those type of nights for Mater Dei, whose first score of the evening came when it was already trailing 42-0.

“We can’t lose any sleep about it,” Rollinson added. “We got to get them back up off the floor and get ready for Servite, and that’s where my focus will be.”

Daniels completed 9 of 23 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Six of those completions and 190 of those yards came in the third and fourth quarters with Mater Dei trailing.

AJ Collins led the Monarchs receiving corps with four catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. Osiris St. Brown chipped in with scores of 25 and 48 yards in finishing with 79 yards receiving.

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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