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ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREP EXTRA

Mater Dei Forced to Work for Victory

Monarchs continue Servite's drought in series, but Friars keep it respectable. They threaten in second half before losing, 27-17.

October 10, 1998|MICHAEL ITAGAKI | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

It wasn't surprising to see a victory for Mater Dei, ranked third in Orange County and fourth in the Southern Section Division I, over Servite. But the Friars did make the Monarchs sweat for a 27-17 win at Cerritos College Friday.

Servite has not defeated Mater Dei since 1988 but followed up last season's 47-0 loss to the Monarchs--the Friars' worst defeat in the series--with a respectable showing that was more impressive considering the circumstances.

Servite's starting quarterback, Dan Petropulos, was injured in last week's 7-3 loss to Fountain Valley and his backup, sophomore Adam Ernst, went down in practice this week.

"Adam got hurt on the last play of practice Wednesday," Servite Coach Larry Toner said. "So we had one day of practice with Steve Ayers."

The Friars simplified things and ran a two-tight end, wishbone-type offense for the new quarterback Ayers, who usually plays wide receiver and defensive back.

The Friars kept the ball out of the Monarchs' hands, dominating time of possession by keeping the ball for 33 minutes with a bruising ground game.

Servite pulled to within 27-17 when Tyrone Gribben (99 yards in 28 carries) scored on a two-yard run with eight seconds remaining in the third quarter. The Friars then recovered an onside kickoff, but the Monarch defense stiffened and Servite never threatened again.

Servite (1-4) started strong, taking the opening kickoff and driving 64 yards in 14 plays and 7 minutes 21 seconds to take a 7-0 lead on Matt Gogan's four-yard run.

But Mater Dei (4-1) needed only 11 seconds to score.

Scott Lukash, who has nine touchdown passes in his last three games, completed a 63-yard bomb to Kelvin Millhouse for a touchdown on Mater Dei's first play from scrimmage to make it 7-7. Millhouse also caught another 63-yard touchdown pass from Lukash in the third quarter.

Lukash completed eight of 14 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns.

The only cloud over Mater Dei's victory was an injury to linebacker Kevin Mitchell late in the fourth quarter. Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson said Mitchell suffered a hamstring injury but did not know the injury's severity.

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