Most Viewed Stories
No. 3 Mater Dei turns back No. 5 Edison
COSTA MESA - The Mater Dei offense took advantage of three big breaks in the first half of Friday's nonleague showdown against fifth-ranked Edison.
In the second half, the defense for the third-ranked Monarchs (4-0) was called upon to seal the victory.
Mater Dei kept Edison (3-1) from scoring the go-ahead touchdown to preserve the 20-14, road victory at Orange Coast College on Friday night.
This is the first time Mater Dei has started a season 4-0 since the 2007 team, when it was led by now-USC quarterback Matt Barkley and started the season 7-0.
"I was really impressed with my defense," Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson said. "I thought we had some opportunities (on offense), we had some protection breakdowns, but that's a great high school football game.
"We need to clean up a few things and get ready again."
Edison cut Mater Dei's lead to 20-14 on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Later in the quarter, after Robert Reyes recovered a Mater Dei fumble, Edison took possession on the Mater Dei 42.
On third-and-8 from the 40, Edison quarterback Alek Torgerson went down field to Trevor Borkowski. Mater Dei defensive back Peter Russo, with his back to the ball, broke up the play. The Edison sidelines wanted a pass interference call, but the referees didn't see it that way.
Edison eventually turned over the ball on downs.
"I thought it was PI (pass interference)," Edison coach Dave White said. "There are judgment calls all the time. ... Both teams probably feel like they got a couple of bad calls. I thought it was PI, but that's their call."
Mater Dei failed the put the game away, giving Edison the ball back with 2:06 left, but this time on its own 5 after a 60-yard punt from Tim Strader.
The Chargers moved to the 33, before again turning the ball over on downs.
"Our defense had enough of it (the talk about Edison's defense) and we told each other to put ourselves on the map this week," Mater Dei two-way star Thomas Duarte said. "We wanted to focus on stopping the run. We knew their passing game was good and we knew our secondary would step up. Our linebackers and our defensive line prided themselves on stopping that run."
Both Donald Rice and Elijah Herrera topped 100 yards in Edison's 6-0 victory over Servite last week. Both were held well under that number Friday.
The game probably shouldn't have been as close, but penalties hampered both teams, especially the Monarchs.
In the third quarter, quarterback Chase Forrest scrambled and found Duarte open for an 80-yard touchdown, but Mater Dei had an ineligible receiver down field.
Just about everything went the Monarchs way in the first half.
Edison fumbled on its first possession. Mater Dei recovered on the Edison 46 and, on the eighth play, Ronald Nickerson opened the scoring with a 2-yard TD.
Mater Dei blocked an Edison punt on the next possession, giving the Monarchs the ball on the Chargers 23. Justin Allen capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown and a 13-0 lead.
Duarte put Mater Dei up, 20-0, in the second quarter when he went up and took the ball away from the defender for a 24-yard touchdown from Ryan McMahon on fourth-and-15.
Edison got on the board with 4:37 left in the second quarter on a 14-yard pass from Alek Torgersen to Donald Rice.
Rice's 2-yard touchdown made the score 20-14 with 11:57 left.
"Our defense played great and was fantastic as usual," White said. "Offense just needs to be more consistent. I'm proud. We were down and not playing well and we battled back.
"Our offense and special teams put our offense in a bind. Mater Dei is really good and we played them pretty tough, so there are a lot of encouraging things out of this. That's why we play Servite and Mater Dei to see our weaknesses and get ready for league."