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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Mater Dei doesn't mess around in beating Edison

September 29, 2007|Eric Sondheimer | Times Staff Writer

Shock and awe. That describes what Santa Ana Mater Dei High is doing to opponents through its first four games.

Whether it's the powerful arm of junior quarterback Matt Barkley, the acrobatic catches of Robbie Boyer or the bone-jarring tackles of Robert Mojica, the top-ranked Monarchs (4-0) are leaving no doubt about their superiority.

Huntington Beach Edison, ranked No. 12 in the Southland by The Times, found out how good the Monarchs are Friday night, falling, 42-14, at Santa Ana Stadium. It was 28-0 at the end of the first quarter and 35-0 at halftime.

Barkley had three touchdown passes in the first quarter and finished 14 of 23 for 253 yards. He had two passes intercepted.

Barkley attempted only two passes in the second half before being pulled in the third quarter. He has 17 touchdown passes in four games.

The best news for Edison (3-2) was that UCLA-bound quarterback Nick Crissman, after being sacked twice, got to leave the game at the end of the first quarter after being hit hard in the chest by Mojica while releasing the ball.

Crissman was groggy coming off the field, and it saved him from even more punishment at the hands of a Mater Dei defense that didn't give up a first down until there was 6:15 left in the second quarter.

"I just got rocked," Crissman said.

Said Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson: "We brought it from every direction."

Mojica, a senior defensive back, resembled a human battering ram the way he was running into Edison players. He also had an interception and returned a punt 51 yards for a touchdown. And it wasn't only Mojica making big hits for a defensive unit that has been overshadowed by the buzz surrounding Mater Dei's offense.

As impressive as Barkley looks, it helps to have an offensive line that is giving him time to throw the ball out of a shotgun formation. And having a veteran group of receivers doesn't hurt either.

Barkley had touchdown passes of 43 and six yards to Boyer and 11 yards to Andrew Abbott.

Jaron Hytche scored touchdowns on runs of nine and six yards.

Now the Monarchs get to face No. 2-ranked Corona Centennial (5-0) on Thursday night at Santa Ana Stadium in what is shaping up as the biggest game of the early season.

"We know they're loaded and it's going to be a great game," Rollinson said of Centennial.

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eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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