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Mater Dei Picks Up Where It Left Off


SANTA ANA — There was a smooth, easy pace to the way the Mater Dei football team operated Friday in its season-opening game against Santa Ana Valley.

The Monarchs went through pregame drills in an orderly manner, neither too excited nor too relaxed. Mater Dei didn't even rush once the game started. The Monarchs slowly moved the ball down the field, time and time again, and beat overmatched Santa Ana Valley, 55-0, in a nonleague game at Santa Ana Stadium.

It was the 15th consecutive victory for Mater Dei, which is the defending Southern Section Division I champion and the top-ranked team in Orange County this season.

Mater Dei looked in midseason form in the first half, when it scored on five of six possessions, was called for no penalties and outgained Santa Ana Valley in yardage, 202 to one.

"That's what we stressed all week," Monarch Coach Bruce Rollinson said. "Don't underestimate your opponent and execute."

The defense even chipped in a touchdown on an interception return and set up another with a blocked punt in the first half.

Senior Mike McNair scored on runs of three and 16 yards in the first quarter and Joey Boese scored two of Mater Dei's four second-quarter touchdowns. McNair added a 27-yard scoring run in the third quarter and finished with 130 yards in 16 carries.

Boese scored his first touchdown when he intercepted a pass and raced 23 yards to put Mater Dei up, 28-0, with 11:06 left in the half. Boese added a 28-yard reception, despite the Valley defensive back being called for pass interference, for a touchdown with about five minutes left in the half.

Monarch quarterback John Leonard also had a nine-yard scoring pass to Ismael Lopez to cap the first-half scoring with 1:46 to play.

Matt Grootegoed had a strong game on special teams. He blocked a punt to set up McNair's second scoring run and kicked seven extra points.

"The pleasant surprise tonight was the special teams," Rollinson said. "But the real test of this team will be next Thursday night [when it plays Bellflower St. John Bosco at Cal State Fullerton]."

Rolando Ramirez completed 10 of 22 passes for 143 yards for Santa Ana Valley.

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