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Dana Hills Only Half as Good as Mater Dei


It has been a frustrating and inconsistent season for Dana Hills and Friday night was a classic case in point.

Facing second-ranked Mater Dei, the Dolphins had the upper hand at halftime, leading by three in their South Coast League game at Dana Hills.

"We went into the locker room and we got full of ourselves," wide receiver Nate Pilmer said. "We were being successful and we thought it was going to stay good."

Well, it didn't. A fumble, two shanked punts, an interception and a lack of crisp tackling added up to a 38-17 Mater Dei victory.

The Dolphins (3-6, 1-3) were eliminated from playoff contention. Mater Dei (8-1, 4-0) will be league champion.

"Mistakes have hurt us all year," said Dana Hills Coach Scott Orloff. "It's been the story of this team."

You couldn't tell that in the first half, as Dana Hills played about as well as it has all season, outgaining the Monarchs in total yardage, 211-131, in the first two quarters.

So incensed were the Monarchs, as they walked off the field after the first half, that two-way starter Matt Grootegoed took the defense aside in a corner of the end zone, and as the rest of the team left the field, chewed them out.

"We take pride in Mater Dei defense," said Coach Bruce Rollinson, who felt his team wasn't executing well on either side of the ball. "We weren't getting the job done."

They did in the second half.

A fumble and a shanked punt eventually led to Mater Dei's go-ahead-for-good score, a three-yard run by Junior Palacios that capped a nine-play, 55-yard drive.

After another shanked punt a couple of minutes later by Dana Hills' Matt Morgan, the Monarchs drove 48 yards on seven plays with quarterback Scott Lukash passing the final 14 yards to Dustin Davis for a score.

Mike Booth's interception of a Jeremy Walker pass at the Dolphin 36-yard line set up the third Monarch score of the half and when Grootegoed ran 32 tackle-busting yards into the end zone, the Monarchs were in control, 35-17 with nine minutes to go.

"I was more concerned with our execution at halftime," Rollinson said. "We came out flat and scored first, and then thought the track meet was on. But Dana Hills hung in there."

For a half.

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