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ORANGE COUNTY SOUTHERN SECTION FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS |
DIVISION I

Eisenhower Pulls a Fast One on Mater Dei, 34-23

November 25, 2000|JOEL BEERS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Midway through the second quarter of Mater Dei's second-round Southern Section Division I playoff game at Rialto Eisenhower, Monarch Coach Bruce Rollinson couldn't be blamed for thinking ahead to the semifinals.

His team led, 23-7, and his offense showed no signs of slowing down.

But any dream Rollinson may have had was swiftly upended by Eisenhower as it scored 27 consecutive points en route to a 34-23 victory.

Third-seeded Eisenhower (11-1) used its superior team speed to full advantage against unseeded Mater Dei (9-3). The Eagles' secondary intercepted four Mater Dei passes and its quick offense stunned the Monarchs at the beginning of the second half.

Eisenhower trailed, 23-20, at halftime, then the Eagles' Michael Hawkins, who also had two interceptions, returned the second-half kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. After a Mater Dei punt, Damian Huff reeled off an 80-yard scoring run on Eisenhower's first play from scrimmage.

"They have the big players and the speed and it just killed us in the second half," Rollinson said.

Mater Dei quarterback Matt Leinart, who threw for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, was contained in the second half. He had three passes intercepted.

The game marked the sixth time since 1990 that the two schools have met in the playoffs. Mater Dei beat Eisenhower, 28-21, in last season's semifinals.

The Monarchs needed only six plays to score on their first drive. Leinart's 57-yard pass to Jeff Diulio set up Cameron Carmona's one-yard touchdown run.

Eisenhower countered with a 10-play drive capped by quarterback's Idris Moss' two-yard scoring run.

In the second quarter, Leinart threw two touchdown passes. The first was a 16-yard pass to Jeff Diulio and the second was a 29-yard pass to Brown Faave. Bryan New finished Mater Dei's first half scoring with a a 49-yard field goal.

Eisenhower roared back, scoring two touchdowns in the last four minutes of the half.

On a fourth-and-five from the Mater Dei 47, Donta' Jackson had a 47-yard halfback pass to Moss for a touchdown then Moss had a 23-yard touchdown pass to Shanal Mayfield.

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