Eric Bieniemy, the speedy tailback from Bishop Amat High School, had another big night Friday at the expense of an Orange County team.
Bieniemy, who earlier this year gained 304 yards and scored 5 touchdowns against Servite, ran for 167 yards and 3 touchdowns before retiring midway through the third quarter in the Lancers' 32-7 rout of Mater Dei.
A crowd of 3,500 in La Puente's Kiefer Stadium saw Bieniemy score on runs of 51, 5 and 45 yards as the Lancers improved their record to 8-0. Bishop Amat needs a victory next week against St. Bernard to clinch its second straight Angelus League title.
It's almost a cinch that Bieniemy will be named the league's most valuable player for the second consecutive year. He'll certainly get votes from Servite and Mater Dei.
"When he gets into the open field, it's almost as if the other players are moving in slow motion," said Chuck Gallo, Mater Dei coach. Bieniemy is the Southern Section's leading scorer with 22 touchdowns.
Bishop Amat showed it has other weapons. Quarterback J. R. Phillips made the most of three pass attempts for 85 yards and 2 touchdowns and also rushed for 49 yards. Bieniemy's backup , Mazio Royster, added 109 yards rushing.
Mater Dei, 1-2 in league and 4-4 overall, couldn't get much going after scoring on its opening possession. Quarterback Mike Curtius completed 13 of 25 pass attempts for 132 yards and the Monarchs' only touchdown, but he was also sacked five times.
Wide receiver Jim O'Brien had an outstanding game, catching 11 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. But there was very little for Monarch fans to cheer about.
The Monarchs stunned Bishop Amat by taking the opening kickoff and driving 75 yards for a touchdown. Curtius made the big play of the drive by throwing a seven-yard pass to Tony Pina on fourth down that gave the Monarchs a first and goal at Bishop Amat's 10-yard line.
A holding penalty nullified Pina's touchdown catch on the next play, but Curtius kept his cool and found O'Brien open in the end zone for an 18-yard scoring play and a 7-0 lead. It was the last hurrah for Mater Dei.
Bishop Amat responded by scoring 26 unanswered points as Bieniemy and Phillips came to life. Bieniemy, who averages 7.7 yards per carry, raced for a 51-yard touchdown run on his second carry to tie the score.
He was just warming up. Bieniemy scored on a five-yard run with 5:26 remaining in the half for a 13-7 lead and then added a 45-yard score with 5:53 left in the third quarter before leaving the game.
The final three minutes of the first half certainly won't make the Mater Dei highlight film. First, the Monarchs' secondary slumbered as junior Derek Zdarstek slipped behind two defenders and burned the Monarchs for a 29-yard touchdown pass from Phillips.
Then, the Monarchs tried an ill-advised fake punt. On the play, running back Matt Spence was thrown for a two-yard loss on the Monarchs' 35-yard line with less than a minute remaining in the half.
The opportunistic Phillips didn't waste any time as he connected with Carlos Hernandez on a 35-yard flea-flicker for a 26-7 lead at halftime.
Servite 29, Bishop Montgomery 28--The Friars scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 1:38 left in the fourth quarter to beat the Knights at Bishop Montgomery.
The Friars (2-1, 6-2) trailed Bishop Montgomery, 21-28, late in the fourth quarter when quarterback Jason Messersmith completed a 40-yard pass to Nick-John Haiduc to the Bishop Montgomery five-yard line.
After several penalties against Bishop Montgomery (0-3, 2-6), Servite had the ball on the one-yard line. Eddie Brown rushed for his third touchdown of the game to make the score 28-27, Bishop Montgomery.
Derek Brown then scored on a two-point conversion run to give Servite the lead and the game.
Servite linebacker Brett Valmassei left the game in the first half with a hyperextended elbow.