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Another Game, Another Shutout for Mater Dei


LONG BEACH — With apologies to Santa Ana Valley, the Mater Dei coaching staff thought Friday's matchup with Long Beach Jordan would be the first "game" of the new season. "We need to see how we match up against another Division I school," Coach Bruce Rollinson said.

So far, so good. The Panthers were pushovers for the Monarchs, as the county's and state's top-ranked team shut out its second consecutive opponent, 37-0, in front of about 5,000 at Jordan.

A young, untested defense was supposed to be the chink in Mater Dei's armor this season. The defense is maturing but still untested; Jordan managed just 30 yards in total offense Friday, and had to be shocked to see the Monarchs (2-0) constantly run down their quarterbacks (six sacks) and running backs.

Rollinson could barely conceal his delight.

"We played very well defensively," he said. "We put pressure on their quarterbacks, like I thought we could. And they also didn't use their top running back [Raheem Elliott, who had 36 yards] as much as we thought.

"I was quietly wondering about the defense as well. I like what I see; they are faster than we thought."

Jordan (1-1) got as close as Mater Dei's 31-yard line only once. Mater Dei, which scored on its first six possessions and rolled up 338 yards of offense, was never challenged.

Wide receivers Rod Perry Jr. and David Castleton combined for eight catches, 130 yards and three touchdowns; starting quarterback Nick Stremick passed for 142 yards and two touchdowns, and his backup, John Leonard, threw for 73 yards and a score. Running backs James Farley (74 yards) and Mike McNair (49 yards) each scored a touchdown.

Keith Greiner added a field goal.

"I don't think our kids anticipated how fast their defense would be or how hard they would play," Jordan Coach Mike Ono said. "And I thought we had a good defensive plan for their offense, but they just chunked us. Even when it was third and long and we knew who they were going to throw to, they would still execute.

"I sounds strange to say, but I thought it was a well-played game. We just didn't make any plays."

The onslaught began innocently enough with a 31-yard field goal from Griener. But after that, Mater Dei settled for nothing but touchdowns; Stremick had a 25-yard touchdown pass to Perry, another 23-yard touchdown pass to Castleton, and James Farley ran in from four yards out.

On the other hand, Jordan's offense was having all sorts of problems.

Starting quarterback Lavar Horton was sacked three times and wound up with minus-36 yards rushing. The Panthers were held to six yards of total offense in the first half.

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