LONG BEACH – Jonathan Lockett couldn't stand still during warm-ups. He paced in the locker room, in the tunnel and on the field, anxiously awaiting a late start to the CIF-SS Pac-5 semifinals. That's what happens when Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly renew their storied rivalry.
Monarchs coach Bruce Rollinson had a feeling about what else might happen.
“I knew he was ready,” Rollinson said. “That's Lockett's M.O., when he can't stand still, that means he's poised and ready to do something great. He pretty much put us on his back for awhile there.”
Lockett delivered a touchdown and interception on subsequent drives as Mater Dei shocked No. 3 seed Long Beach Poly, 30-0, at Veterans Stadium on Friday night in the 14th meeting between the schools.
A year after losing in the Pac-5 championship game to Poly, Mater Dei (11-2) returns to the final round to face Trinity League champion St. John Bosco of Bellflower at Angel Stadium next Saturday at 8 p.m.
Top-seeded Bosco (13-0) beat the Monarchs, 24-2, on Nov. 1. The Trinity League champion Braves have outscored their three playoff opponents, 180-45. The Monarchs upset Oaks Christian, 28-17, and No. 2 seed Mission Viejo, 21-14, in the previous rounds.
“I'm just proud we're back in the finals,” Rollinson said. “We're going to enjoy this for about 10 minutes, then we have to figure out a way to stop Bosco. We have the experience of being in the finals and playing in the stadium. We're just going to say a lot of prayers.”
The Trinity League runner-up had just seven first downs against Poly but made them count. Lockett went 90 yards on a third-quarter touchdown after hauling in a perfect deep ball from Chase Forrest. Mater Dei's senior quarterback was an efficient 7 of 10 for 154 yards and three touchdowns.
Mater Dei's defense handled the rest, holding Poly to an astounding minus-2 yards of offense in the first half. The Monarchs forced three turnovers and had four sacks.
The Jackrabbits (11-2) had just one first down before halftime, which they earned on the third play from scrimmage, and punted on their first six possessions. Their seventh ended prematurely when the Monarchs' Curtis Robinson recovered a fumbled punt at the Poly 20.
Forrest soon hit Ben Humphreys for a 4-yard touchdown with five seconds left in the half to give Mater Dei a 20-0 lead. Forrest connected with London Iakopo over the middle for a 23-yard touchdown earlier in the quarter. Iakopo, who doubles as a running back and linebacker, added a sack and blocked punt in the first quarter.
Tailback Justin Allen slipped through two defenders with a sharp cut and broke free for a 75-yard touchdown to give the Monarchs a 6-0 lead. Allen finished with a game-high 100 rushing yards. Punter Timothy Strader placed four punts inside the Poly 15.
The Jackrabbits came in having won 10 in a row since a September loss to Servite.
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