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PAUL RODRIGUEZ, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Mater Dei wide receiver Nikko Remigio lets out a yell as the Monarchs seal their victory over St. John Bosco.

Fryer: Monarchs earn their stripes

STAFF COLUMNIST

CERRITOS – Mater Dei was missing a stripe.

The Monarchs have three white stripes on their red helmets. The stripes represent, as their motto goes, “Pride, Poise and Courage.” That middle stripe, the “Poise” one, had disappeared.

Poise is missing when a team commits 14 penalties for 149 yards, as Mater Dei did on Friday against St. John Bosco at Cerritos College.

That stripe slowly started to emerge in the fourth quarter and was glowing brightly when the final seconds ticked off and Mater Dei began celebrating its 26-21 win over St. John Bosco.

With Mater Dei trailing, 21-19, Monarchs back Jalen Cole made an interception at the St. John Bosco 43. The Mater Dei crowd went nuts, but the players were all about business. The Monarchs drove downfield to get the winning touchdown on a 1-yard dive by 5-foot-6 sophomore running back Glenn Harper.

Although another penalty, which was another late-hit personal foul call against the Monarchs, improved St. John Bosco’s final-possession field position, the pride thing kicked in again. On third-and-long, they got into the St. John Bosco backfield and harassed quarterback Re-Al Mitchell into throwing an incomplete pass.

Then Xavier Bell made the poise play of the night, knocking away a fourth-down pass in the final minute to secure the win.

As Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson likes to say, “There’s magic in those three stripes.” When all three stripes are working, a magical comeback win can happen like it did Friday.

Elsewhere under the lights …

• Field position is crucial to such important games. Mater Dei senior punter Ryan Stonehouse punted five times for an NFL-like average of 50 yards a punt.

• The bigger the game, the more CIF-Southern Section brass at the game. Mater Dei-St. John Bosco drew CIF-SS commissioner Rob Wigod, assistant commissioner Glenn Martinez, whose duties include being in charge of the section’s management of football, and director of communications Thom Simmons.

• Mater Dei-St. John Bosco was televised live on Fox Sports West. Simmons, watching the approximately 9,500 file into Cerritos College’s Falcon Stadium, said there will be people who opt to stay home and watch a game on TV “and there will be people who want to part of the happening and when it’s on TV that can make it a bigger event.”

• We’ve been waiting for Buena Park to beat La Habra. Wait no more. The Coyotes ended La Habra’s 47-game Freeway League winning streak with a 27-13 win over the Highlanders on Friday.

• La Habra has won nine straight Freeway League championships. Buena Park, 7-1 overall and 3-0 in league, can end that streak if it wins its remaining league games against Troy and Sunny Hills, both of which are 6-2 overall and 2-1 in league.

• Santa Ana beat Ocean View, and Segerstrom beat Loara in Golden West League games. Santa Ana and Segerstrom are 8-0 overall and 3-0 in league. They play each other Friday at Santa Ana Stadium.

• Villa Park and Yorba Linda won their Crestview League openers Friday. They play each other Friday at Yorba Linda High.

• It’s been a while since a La Quinta-Los Amigos game was a big game. On Friday, La Quinta beat Bolsa Grande and Los Amigos was victorious against Santiago. La Quinta (7-1, 3-0) plays Los Amigos (5-3, 2-1) Thursday at Bolsa Grande High.

• In his long coaching career, Newport Harbor’s Jeff Brinkley, admits he is not much of an offensive innovator so it’s interesting that the Sailors are using two quarterbacks, sophomore Sam Barela and junior Spencer Hook, almost equally as they did in their 34-8 win over Huntington Beach on Thursday. “Thirty-one years here at Newport, and eight years before that at Norwalk, and I’ve never done it,” Brinkley said. “Always the wild guy.”

• Big Trinity League games can produce some big 50-50 pots. The winning ticket at the Mater Dei-St. John Bosco game was worth $3,321. You can’t win a 50-50 drawing when you watch the game at home.

Contact the writer: sfryer@scng.com


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