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Mater Dei Rolls Over St. John Bosco, 41-7


Needing a victory to avoid the risk of missing the playoffs by virtue of wayward coin flips--not to mention the embarrassment of losing to a team with only three victories--third-ranked Mater Dei took care of some pressing business Friday.

The Monarchs scored a 41-7 Serra League victory over Bellflower St. John Bosco at Edison Field in front of about 6,500.

Mater Dei improved to 8-2 overall, 2-1 in the four-team Serra League, and will go into the Southern Section Division I playoffs as the league's No. 2 entry behind Santa Margarita. The Monarchs are ranked fourth in the division but had been ranked second until this week's poll.

"We preached to the boys that this was a do-or-die situation," Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson said. "We lost control of our destiny."

And how often has that happened in the last 50 years?

The Monarchs were celebrating the school's 50th anniversary with homecoming, and scoring a point for every year would have suited them just fine, anything to keep the St. John Bosco offense from grinding out the clock, which was Santa Margarita's prescription for success in a 21-14 upset last week.

It was that loss that put an unusual urgency on Mater Dei's performance against the Braves.

Mater Dei quarterback Matt Leinart dissected the St. John Bosco defense in the first half, completing 11 of his first 12 passes for 162 yards. His final total was the same as his first-half total: 15 for 19, one interception, 205 yards. He threw two touchdown passes, seven yards to tight end Joseph Clapp for a 14-0 lead and 24 yards to Jeff Diulio for a 21-0 margin. Diulio had five catches for 69 yards.

Bryan New's 29-yard field goal after Camron Carmona blocked a punt gave Mater Dei a 24-0 halftime lead.

The Monarch defense limited St. John Bosco to 110 yards--26 in the first half--while Mater Dei's offense gained 308, of which 262 came in the first half.

It was a light night for the starters. Darius Williams, whose one-yard run gave Mater Dei a 7-0 lead, carried only four times for 24 yards. Camron Carmona rushed eight times for 31 yards.

The Monarchs, who scored on their first three possessions of the game, added two quick touchdowns in the third quarter. Nathan Coash returned a punt 70 yards for a 31-0 lead, and after a bad snap on a punt attempt, Carmona scored from the one for a 38-0 lead.

That ended the night for the offensive starters, who ran only two plays in the second half.

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