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Tailback Graham Quits Before Mater Dei Wins


FULLERTON — Mater Dei sophomore tailback Michael Graham was noticeably absent from the Monarchs' 21-6 victory over Riverside Ramona Thursday night at Cal State Fullerton.

"Mike had difficulty with the structure at Mater Dei and I think his parents and him are going to evaluate the situation," Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson said after the game.

Graham, who entered the week as Orange County's sixth leading rusher but watched from the stands, was more complete in assessing his status at the school.

"I don't go here anymore," he said, while walking out of Titan Stadium.

Graham's frustration apparently grew from Rollinson's decision to bench the tailback during the first half of last week's 41-7 victory over La Canada St. Francis. Wednesday, Graham made his decision to transfer to another school.

Graham, who lives in Santa Ana, declined to say where he might end up.

Mater Dei Athletic Director Gary McKnight said he expects Graham to leave school tomorrow.

The Monarchs (4-1) controlled the ball for much of the game and rotated Steve Bodnar and Jason Lundstrom at tailback while quarterback John Flynn moved the ball with short pass plays.

Mater Dei took its opening possession 65 yards in 12 plays and capped the drive with a nine-yard touchdown run by Bodnar.

After the Rams cut the lead to one, Flynn found wide receiver Michael-John Rzeznik for a seven-yard score with 32 seconds left in the first half.

The Monarchs extended their lead to 21-6 late in the third quarter when Lundstrom ran three yards up the middle for a touchdown.

Bodnar finished with 92 yards in 11 carries and Lundstrom 82 in 12 carries. Flynn completed 14 of 18 passes for 113 yards.

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