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Field Goal as Time Expires Lifts Mater Dei


Nothing was going to stop Santa Ana Mater Dei High kicker Bryan New with the game on the line this time.

Not the Loyola fans' chants of "De La Salle! De La Salle!" Not the Cubs' three interminable timeouts, called in an attempt to rattle the kicker who had already missed one fourth-quarter field-goal attempt. And especially not the 31-yard attempt he faced with five seconds left.

New's kick sailed through the uprights with no time remaining, giving Mater Dei a spectacular 24-21 victory over Loyola on Saturday night before an overflow crowd of about 7,000 at Glendale High.

"I live for this type of stuff," New said. "This is what I do best, and I got my chance to do it.

Before Saturday, New was best known for a 34-yard attempt that he missed in Week 3 against Concord De La Salle, the nation's top-ranked team. That kick could have given Mater Dei a tie and ended the Spartans' national-record winning streak at 102 games.

New, a senior, will now be remembered for the first game-winning kick of his career.

"I thought it was spectacular," Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson said. "The kids knew he was going to make it."

New's kick was the difference in an otherwise evenly played game. Mater Dei (6-1) ruled the time of possession battle, but Loyola (6-1) scored on two quick-strike touchdowns.

After New missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt with 2 minutes 42 seconds remaining, the Cubs took over at their own 20-yard line. But defensive back Brown Faavae stripped the ball from quarterback Matt Ware two plays later, and Monarch linebacker Grant Melton recovered at the 18.

A pass interference call against the Cubs gave Mater Dei a first down at the nine, but the drive stalled, setting the stage for New.

"I just tried to block out that last kick as much as possible," New said. "I tried to stay calm. It was a good snap, a good hold--there you go."

If Mater Dei wins its remaining three games, the Monarchs will likely enter the Southern Section Division I playoffs as the No. 1 or No. 2 seed. Mater Dei was ranked second in the division coming into Saturday, and Loyola was ranked third.

Mater Dei quarterback Matt Leinart, who completed 16 of 24 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown, tied the game at 21 midway through the third quarter when he rolled left, faked a pass to freeze a defender and ran into the end zone from one yard.

Rafael Rice had run 80 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second half to give Loyola a 21-14 lead.

Mater Dei led, 14-7, late in the second quarter and was in great position to add some cushion after holding Loyola deep in its own territory.

But the Monarchs self-destructed, committing a clipping penalty on the punt return and committing three more penalties for an additional 25 yards on their ensuing drive. Mater Dei had to punt from its own 12-yard line and the Cubs took over at the Monarch 43 with 32 seconds left.

Loyola quickly drove to the 17, where Ware took it in for the game-tying score on a nifty run in which he plunged past three defenders near the goal line as time expired. Ware finished with 117 yards rushing in 10 carries and completed six of 16 passes for 75 yards with an interception.

The Monarchs were poised to take a 14-point lead on their next possession after having first and goal on the Loyola 5, but the Cubs stuffed Darius Williams for no gain on third and fourth downs and took over at their own 1.

Ware scrambled for a 94-yard touchdown two plays later to make it 7-7.

Mater Dei responded with a 66-yard drive that ended with Grant Melton's two-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter.

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