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PAUL BERSEBACH, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Mater Dei's Josh Valdivia tries to get away from San Clemente's Landon Cook during Friday's game at San Clemente High. Check out the OCVarsity Hot Shots slide show to see all of the photos from Friday's games.

Mater Dei digs deep, pulls out first victory

The Monarchs show they still have some fight as they knock off No. 5 San Clemente, 42-14.

OCVARSITY.COM

SAN CLEMENTE - Mater Dei might have backed itself into a corner with consecutive losses and falling out of the county's Top 10 in the process.

But on Friday night, on the road against No. 5 San Clemente, the Monarchs (1-2) showed that they still have some fight left as they beat the Tritons (4-1) behind the right arm of quarterback Max Wittek and a strong performance from the offensive line.

Wittek completed 14 of 19 passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Monarchs to a 42-14 victory.


FAN PHOTOS: Friday's OCVarsity Fandemonium slide show

GAME PHOTOS: Friday's OCVarsity Hot Shots slide show


"We worked all week and some people might have thought that the offensive line was our weakness, but we came out strong," Wittek said. "They gave me my time and we showed what we can do."

"This is a big win. We have to come back strong and it all starts Monday. We have to forget about this and move on and get ready for Edison (next week's opponent)."

Wittek's No. 1 target was Victor Blackwell. The duo connected six times for 184 yards and two touchdowns.

Each time Blackwell touched the ball, he wowed the crowd, starting with his 74-yard kickoff return that set Mater Dei up on the San Clemente 20 to open the game.

"We've gotten to the point, where I always know where he's going to be on the field," Wittek said of Blackwell. "We have a comfort level and a trust level that's beyond most connections."

All six of Blackwell's receptions were for more than 15 yards and three went for at least 40 yards (41, 48 and 45).

San Clemente scored a touchdown on its first possession, but the Monarchs answered with four consecutive touchdowns to take a 28-7 lead.

The Tritons cut the score to 28-14 on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Travis Wilson to Terrell Johnson right before halftime.

Bu that was as close as the Tritons would get.

A Miguel Sandoval interception of a Wilson pass gave the Monarchs the ball at the San Clemente 10. Two playes later, Josh Valdivia went in from 5 yards to make the score 35-14.

On the next offensive possession, Blackwell leaped to catch a 15-yard touchdown pass to cap the scoring.

"Football is a very simple game," Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson said. "You block, you tackle, you play with emotion. We have to build on this. It is a situation that you have to say, how do you turn it around? And you turn it around through hard work and commitment by the kids, and that's what they did.

"As far as I'm concerned, we won a football game and now we have to go back to work."


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