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Mater Dei pulls away to down Upland
UPLAND – After throwing six touchdown passes in his first career start, Mater Dei’s JT Daniels had set quite a standard for himself.
The freshman quarterback had a shaky first quarter Friday night, but one unbeatable connection put the Monarchs offense on the right track.
Osiris St. Brown made the big plays, reeling in three of Daniels’ four touchdowns as top-ranked Mater Dei defeated Upland, 43-14, in a nonleague game at Upland High.
Daniels was 19-of-30 passing for 281 yards. He engineered drives of 80 and 85 yards to begin the second half, turning a 15-7 halftime edge into a sizable 29-7 advantage with 3:28 left in the third quarter.
St. Brown capped the drives with touchdown receptions of 20 and 24 yards.
St. Brown, a junior transfer from Servite, had been hampered by a toe injury to begin the season, but he looked like a true No. 1 option against the Highlanders (2-2).
“It’s great,” St. Brown said of being back at full strength. “We got good protection from the (offensive) line, and we just had a great game today.”
The Monarchs (4-0) used a safety and a pair of Chase McGrath field goals (37 and 27 yards) to take their 15-7 lead in the second quarter, but the lead was far from safe.
Upland was threatening to tighten the score with the ball inside the red zone in the final minute of the first half.
Highlanders quarterback Andrew Harrison hit his receiver in the hands, but it was bobbled, and the deflected pass was seized by Quentin Lake for a critical interception.
“We had a little heart-to-heart at halftime, and all of a sudden we started executing,” Monarchs coach Bruce Rollinson said.
“In the Trinity League, by that time, you’re going to be out of the game.”
Brandon LaMarche had 146 rushing yards and a score. Amon-Ra St. Brown had 79 receiving yards, and Christopher Parks added 60.
Mater Dei will play its final nonleague game next Friday against Edison at Santa Ana Stadium before it begins a challenging Trinity League slate.