Legendary Mater Dei football coach Dick Coury dies at age 91

Legendary former Mater Dei football coach Dick Coury, who helped build the Monarchs into a powerhouse before embarking on a long and successful career at the collegiate and professional levels, died Saturday, Aug. 15, announced Lake Oswego High in Oregon, where Coury’s son Steve is the football coach.

The announcement, from the official twitter account of the Lake Oswego football program, said Coury was 91.

“He treated everyone he came in contact with like they were the most important person in the world,” Lake Oswego tweeted. “Even with all of his accomplishments in coaching, he will be remembered more for the type of person he was.”

Rest In Peace coach Dick Coury. #Family #LakerNation pic.twitter.com/wY9rfOkD7n

— LO Lakers Football (@LOLakersFB) August 16, 2020

Coury coached Mater Dei for nine seasons in the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, leading the Monarchs to three CIF-SS titles and seven league titles. His combined record was 85-9-5 from 1957 to 1965.

Coury went on to serve as defensive coordinator for USC and became Cal State Fullerton’s first football coach in 1970.

He was part of the Trojans’ coaching staff for their 1967 national championship. In his two seasons at Cal State Fullerton, he compiled a 13-8-1 record.

Coury was an assistant coach for several NFL teams, including the L.A. and St. Louis Rams.

He served as an assistant with the Eagles in 1981 when they lost to the Raiders in the Super Bowl.

Coury also coached in the World Football League and United States Football League. He was the USFL’s coach of the year in 1983.

The family has informed us that Dick Coury has passed away at the age of 90. Coury coached all three seasons with the #USFL Breakers in Boston, New Orleans and Portland. He also coached with the @steelers, @Broncos, @Chargers, @Eagles, @RamsNFL, @Patriots, @Vikings and Oilers. pic.twitter.com/s8uL2q9SNw

— The USFL Project (@theusflproject) August 16, 2020

While he helped with the Lake Oswego team, Coury also could be spotted at Mater Dei in retirement. He attended the Monarchs’ pre-game ceremony for the 1950 and 1960 team in 2015.

Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson, who hoisted Coury’s arm before the 2015 game, played for Coury at Mater Dei.

“I’ve known Coach Coury since around the seventh grade and have always admired him as both a great coach and a great person,” said Phil Anton, a longtime observer of Orange County football and former chairman of the county all-star game.

Read more about Legendary Mater Dei football coach Dick Coury dies at age 91 This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Tustin Shredding Service near me

Powered by WPeMatico

Fryer on football: The force was with Mater Dei again


Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now


The sound system at St. John Bosco’s Panish Family Stadium played “The Imperial March” from “Stars Wars” when Mater Dei’s offense took the field to start the second quarter.

Approriate enough. Empirical evidence shows that Mater Dei is Southern California high school football’s empire.

The force was on Mater Dei’s side when it beat St. John Bosco 38-24 on Friday night.

The Monarchs look like they’re on their way to a third straight CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship and a third straight state championship. The people who bestow national championships just might have to give one to Mater Dei for a third straight year.

Mater Dei is No. 1 in every poll – local, statewide and national – and is 9-0 going into its final game of the regular season against JSerra on Friday, Nov. 1. Then it’s one week off before going into the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs that will have an eight-team bracket. The Monarchs will be seeded No. 1 and St. John Bosco will probably at the other half of the bracket as the No. 2 seed.

Mater Dei linebacker Dean Neeley talks about the Monarchs’ 38-24 win over St. John Bosco and the fun of watching Bryce Young play quarterback @MDFootball @ocvarsity pic.twitter.com/bmxoFGAJJS

— Steve Fryer (@SteveFryer) October 26, 2019

Friday’s win was not as clean as Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson would have preferred. Rollinson, in his 31st season as the head coach of his alma mater, told the players during the week there were three keys to victory.

“I talk to them about minimizing the penalties, taking advantage of opportunities and staying together,” Rollinson said. “They stayed together but they forgot about my other two keys.”

The Monarchs were penalized 16 times for 160 yards. Some of the penalties extended Bosco drives, others limited or curtailed Mater Dei offensive opportunities. Mater Dei went into the game averaging 119 penalty yards a game, but that has not sent them into the loss column.

Rollinson credited Mater Dei offensive coordinator Dave Money and defensive coordinator Eric Johnson and the rest of the coaching corps for their hours of preparation, and praised the players for making the game plan effective.

Mater Dei QB Bryce Young talks about the 38-24 win over St. John Bosco and his competition against Bosco QB DJ Uigalelei (Young committed to Alabama, Uiagalelei to Clemson @MDFootball @ocvarsity pic.twitter.com/AsVitdIpIF

— Steve Fryer (@SteveFryer) October 26, 2019

“And,” Rollinson said, “what do you say about Bryce Young?”

You say that the Monarchs senior quarterback was impressive again. Young, who committed to Alabama, calmly completed 19 of 33 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two touchdowns. He is given plenty of freedom to change play calls.

Rollinson said there were more than 20 plays Friday where Young changed the selected play, including pass protections that usually are an offensive lineman’s call.

“You talk about confidence,” Rollinson said. “He never gets down and never gets too high emotionally.

“And he just executes the game plan with precision.”

One might say he executed it with light-saber precision.

Extra points

• It wasn’t the biggest game Friday night for the general high school football public. But for Fountain Valley and Edison folks, the annual Battle for the Bell was the biggest game of the night and of the year, as it always is. Edison won 56-7 — 49 points is the largest margin in the history of the series — to win the Bell Game for the 16th year in a row and lead the series 36-14-1.

• In another rivalry game, Corona del Mar beat Newport Harbor 56-17 in their annual Battle of the Bay. Corona del Mar has defeated Newport Harbor seven games in a row.

Marina beat previously undefeated Segerstrom 25-14 on Friday to clinch a share of the Big 4 League championship. It is the Vikings’ first football league title since 1986, well before the current Marina players were born and probably before most of their parents met, too.

• Mission Viejo got its revenge. Having lost to San Clemente last year, a game that gave San Clemente the South Coast League championship, the Diablos on Friday beat San Clemente 38-6. Mission Viejo clinched at least a share of its 10th league title over the past 11 seasons.

• Orange County has five undefeated teams, all at 9-0: Corona del Mar, Cypress, Foothill, Mater Dei and Mission Viejo.

• Cypress is 9-0 and rolling and its roster recently got better. Buddha Asoau is a senior defensive lineman/fullback who has joined the Centurions after some delay getting settled in at school and his new residence. At 6-foot-2 and 300 pounds, Asoau is pretty good at blasting open holes for Cypress ace running back Isaac Hurtado who rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns Thursday in the Centurions’ 32-15 win over Tustin. That victory clinched for them at least a share of the Empire League championship.

• Santa Margarita is going through a rough patch. The Eagles’ 27-0 loss to Servite on Thursday was their second shutout loss in a row and the previous week’s 45-0 loss to Mater Dei was the first time Santa Margarita had been shut out in 171 games. Santa Margarita first-year coach Brent Vieselmeyer has a rebuilding project on his hands, but with his previous experience helping make Orange Lutheran a power as an assistant coach in the early 2000s he has construction skills.

Read more about Fryer on football: The force was with Mater Dei again This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Fryer: This Mater Dei team may be better than its 2017, 2018 teams that were national champs


Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now


Mater Dei was crowned high school football’s national champions in 2017 and 2018.

This year’s Mater Dei team might be better than both of those two teams.

The Monarchs dominated the game from start to finish Friday in a 56-11 win over Servite before a big, vocal crowd of around 8,000 at Santa Ana Stadium.

In that game Mater Dei flexed its many strengths.

You’ve read or heard that “the game slows down” for athletes as they mature. That description fits Mater Dei’s Alabama-committed quarterback Bryce Young. Whereas last season Young danced around in the pocket some or would take off on a run as the pocket collapsed, Young now calmly watches as a play’s opportunities develop, and that’s why the senior’s completion percentage is at 74.

Quarterbacks are looked to as leaders. Young last season was a junior who had transferred to Mater Dei after spending his freshman and sophomore years at Cathedral of Los Angeles. Junior quarterbacks new to a roster sometimes lack the gravitas to take on a leadership position, but now Young is a seasoned and accepted senior leader.

The Monarchs might lack that spectacular receiver they had a couple of seasons ago when Amon-Ra St. Brown, who is now at USC, was catching touchdown passes for them. But this year’s group, led by Kody Epps, gets open and catches the ball. Against Servite it looked like at least two Mater Dei receivers were open on every pass play.

Mater Dei has another one of those big, strong offensive lines the Monarchs have in their finest seasons. It’s a superb pass-protect unit.

The Monarchs are very fast on defense, especially in the backfield. Servite receiver Zedikiah Centers, one of the Friars’ top playmakers, had zero catches with senior cornerback Nate White leading the coverage.

The best Mater Dei defenses have a steady anchor at linebacker. That linebacker this season is senior Dean Neeley, the Monarchs’ leading tackler snagged a fumbled football in mid-air Friday and ran 40 yards with it for a touchdown.

And the Monarchs are solid on special teams.

Mater Dei football coach Bruce Rollinson talks about the 56-11 win over Servite and how important it is to him to beat Servite ⁦@ocvarsity⁩ ⁦@MDFootballpic.twitter.com/wTekefc5Ww

— Steve Fryer (@SteveFryer) October 12, 2019

Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson summarized the Monarchs and their dominating performance against Servite: “Our defense tonight, man, they were just running and hitting. And our offensive line, and Bryce Young is wheeling and dealing out there. Our receivers catch any ball that is even remotely close, and tonight (Young) was pinpoint.”

Last year Mater Dei lost to St. John Bosco in a Trinity League game and beat Bosco in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship game.

The Monarchs play St. John Bosco on Oct. 25 at St. John Bosco. They will probably play Bosco again in the Division 1 championship game.

If Mater Dei plays like it did against Servite, and as it has all season, this year Mater Dei goes 2-0 against St. John Bosco.

Extra points

• There has been bad blood between the Mater Dei and Servite football programs in the past, even back when Rollinson was playing for Mater Dei in the 1960s. That bad blood, stirred up between the respective coaching staffs at the end of last year’s Mater Dei-Servite game won by Mater Dei 35-0, was noticeable again Friday night. There were eight penalties for 98 yards for Servite on Friday, and 20 penalties for 235 yards for Mater Dei with a few personal fouls in the mix for both. “There were some issues that had to be addressed,” Rollinson said after Friday’s game, “and you remember last year — it wasn’t a good situation, and now it’s over and done with.”

• For Mater Dei’s current players, St. John Bosco is the team’s big rival. For people who have been in and around the Mater Dei football program since before Mater Dei’s players of today were born, Servite remains the big rival. “Coach ‘Rollo’ isn’t a huge fan of Servite,” Young said. “We knew that. On Saturday we talked about it and he said, ‘I need this one for us (the coaching staff) and for the seniors, and when Rollo asks for one, we have to have his back.”

• The Mater Dei and Servite student sections, as expected, went at each other during Friday’s game. Mater Dei’s student section chanted, “We’ve got girls!” To which Servite’s student section replied, “Those aren’t girls!”

• Tustin is on a roll. After starting the season 0-2, the Tillers have won four of five and are 4-3 overall 2-0 in the Empire League after a 44-6 league win over Crean Lutheran on Friday. Crean Lutheran is trying to hang in there while suiting up around only 20 players a game. Crean (3-4, 0-2) has been outscored 99-6 in its two league games and next week plays Cypress (7-0, 2-0), which is averaging 36 points a game.

• Mission Viejo has cranked up its offense. The Diablos have scored 56 points or more in four of the past five weeks, including South Coast League wins of 56-0 over El Toro two weeks ago and 63-13 over Capistrano Valley on Friday. The Diablos have a bye next week before playing at home against San Clemente, which beat Mission Viejo last season.

• Cypress and Mission Viejo (8-0) among the six remaining undefeated teams in Orange County. The others: Foothill (7-0), Mater Dei (7-0), Newport Harbor (7-0) and Segerstrom (7-0).

• Western’s streak of shutout wins ended at six games. Western beat Artesia of Lakewood 34-23 on Thursday, the first time the Pioneers have allowed an opponent to score in double figures. Slackers!

Read more about Fryer: This Mater Dei team may be better than its 2017, 2018 teams that were national champs This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

Powered by WPeMatico

VOTE: Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week (Sept. 13)

Each week, publications from the The Southern California News Group’s 11 properties (Orange County Register, L.A. Daily News, Press-Enterprise, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Long Beach Press-Telegram, The Daily Breeze, San Bernardino Sun, Daily Bulletin, Redlands Daily Facts, Whittier Daily News and Pasadena-Star News) nominate Athletes of the Week for their respective region.

Each nominee is entered into the overall Southern California Athlete of the Week county-wide vote.

Click on the newspaper links below the athlete’s name to read about their performance from last week, and then vote for who you think is the best athlete this week.

Readers are allowed to vote multiple times. Voting ends at midnight, but final totals aren’t always immediately reflected due to processing.

GIRLS ATHLETE OF THE WEEK VOTING

The overall winner will be announced on Friday, Sept. 13.

Voting poll at bottom of the page.

Bryce Young, Mater Dei: He completed 31 of 37 passes for a school-record 538 yards and a school record-tying seven touchdowns in a 71-21 win over Centennial of Peoria, Ariz. Young (5-11, 175) broke the record of 459 passing yards that had been established by JT Daniels in 2016. He has thrown for 1,115 yards and 14 touchdowns over three games. Young, who committed to USC, was the Register’s Orange County offensive player of the year last season.

Jalon Daniels, Lawndale: Daniels rushed for four touchdowns (76, 4, 3, 4 yards) and threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to lead the Cardinals to a 35-16 win over Carlsbad.

Amir Bankhead, Paraclete: Bankhead rushed for 123 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns in Paraclete’s 20-16 win over Legacy of North Las Vegas. The junior running back led the come-from-behind victory and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 29-yard run in the fourth quarter. Bankhead was the Daily News’ freshman of the year in 2017 before suffering a season-ending injury last season in Week 0. The Spirits are winners of two straight heading into Friday’s marquee matchup with Notre Dame.

Kajiya Hollawayne, San Jacinto: Hollawayne threw for 214 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a career-high 236 yards and two scores to lead San Jacinto to a 39-27 victory over Murrieta Mesa. Hollawayne, who has offers from UCLA and New Mexico, has 1,098 total yards and nine touchdowns through three games. San Jacinto hosts Chula Vista Eastlake this week.

Ryan Pettway, Wilson: The third-year starting quarterback was devastatingly efficient, hitting on 14 of 18 passes for 222 yards and four touchdowns as the Bruins walloped visiting Huntington Beach 43-7. Pettway, also a standout on Wilson’s baseball team, connected twice for scores with Nicholas Timko, one of six receivers he found Friday, and he ran for 64 yards. The 5-11, 190-pound senior’s poise in running the attack has much to do with Wilson’s 3-0 start, and a victory this week over St. Anthony would give the program its best start since 2003.

Isaiah Givens, Pasadena: The sophomore broke a 36-year-old school record and finished with one of the top performances at the Cool Breeze Invitational at Brookside Park in Pasadena. Givens crossed the finish line in 14 minutes, 58 seconds over the 3-mile course to break the school’s 1983 record set by Jesus Gutierrez, who held the previous record of 15:05.

Dylan Wheatley, Citrus Valley: Wheatley completed 10 of 17 passes for 179 yards and a school-record tying six touchdowns in a 42-0 win over Colony. In two games this season, Wheatley has thrown 10 touchdowns with one interception.

VOTE: Southern California Boys Athlete of the WeekRead more about VOTE: Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week (Sept. 13) This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Fryer: Mater Dei’s defense comes through again in win over De La Salle

  • De La Salle wide receiver Grant Daley, left, can’t reach a pass deep in Mater Dei territory as Mater Dei defensive back Jaylin Davies covers in the CIF State Open Division championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei linebacker Bru McCoy, left, makes the catch over De La Salle cornerback Amir Wallace but is called for offensive pass interference in the second quarter of the CIF State Open Division championship game in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • De La Salle quarterback Dorian Hale, center, fumbles the ball against Mater Dei in the CIF State Open Division championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei linebacker Steele Dubar, right, takes down De La Salle quarterback Dorian Hale in the second quarter of the CIF State Open Division championship game in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei linebacker Jacobah Fuamatu, right, comes up with the ball after De La Salle quarterback Dorian Hale fumbles in the fourth quarter of the CIF State Open Division championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei linebacker Bru McCoy makes a one-handed catch over De La Salle cornerback Amir Wallace in the CIF State Open Division championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei running back Sean Dollars, left, beats De La Salle running back James Coby to make the catch in the CIF State Open Division championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei linebacker Bru McCoy holds the ball high after making a catch deep in De La Salle territory late in the fourth quarter in the CIF State Open Division championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei running back Shakobe Harper, right, and tight end Michael Martinez celebrate Harper’s touchdown late in the fourth quarter against De La Salle in the CIF State Open Division championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei quarterback Bryce Young, right, fires a pass under pressure from De La Salle tackle Chad Tasi in the CIF State Open Division championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei running back Shakobe Harper celebrates his touchdown late in the fourth quarter against De La Salle in the CIF State Open Division championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei running back Shakobe Harper, right, avoids a tackle by De La Salle tight end Jhasi Wilson as he runs into the end zone for the score in the fourth quarter in the CIF State Open Division championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei tight end Michael Martinez, right, gets a hug as he celebrates the Monarchs winning the CIF State Open Division championship over De La Salle in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei offensive lineman Tautai Marks gives the victory sign after the Monarchs won the CIF State Open Division championship over De La Salle in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei players including quarterback Bryce Young, center, yell out a cheer after they won the CIF State Open Division football championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson holds the CIF State Open Division championship trophy high as he celebrates with his players in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson and running back Shakobe Harper give each other a hug as they celebrate winning the CIF State Open Division championship over De La Salle in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei offensive lineman Tautai Marks, center, holds a rose as the Alma Mater is played after the Monarchs won the CIF State Open Division championship in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • A proud coach Bruce Rollinson stands with his players and the CIF State Open Division championship trophy in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei tight end Michael Martinez, left, runs around De La Salle’s Richard Fahiua after catching a pass in the second quarter of the CIF State Open Division championship game in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Mater Dei team runs onto the field as they get ready to face De La Salle in the CIF State Open Division championship game in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Mater Dei football team face the flag for the playing of the National Anthem before the start of the CIF State Open Division championship game against De La Salle in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Mater Dei team runs onto the field as they get ready to face De La Salle in the CIF State Open Division championship game in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei running back Shakobe Harper, right, high-steps it past De La Salle’s Erich Storti in the CIF State Open Division championship game in Norwalk on Saturday, December 8, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

NORWALK — When a high school football team averages 41 points a game it can be easy to forget that same team has a good defense.

Mater Dei had its offensive stars Saturday in its 35-21 win over De La Salle of Concord in the CIF State Open Division championship game at Cerritos College, which gave the Monarchs a second straight state title.

Monarchs running back Shakobe Harper shimmied and shook his way to 125 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Bryce Young was his usual efficient self, completing 18 of 25 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns.

Bru McCoy again showed that he is the best player in Orange County with seven receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown. McCoy made two one-handed clutch catches for first downs on the drive that led to Mater Dei’s final touchdown that put the win away. Tight end Michael Martinez moved the chains with six catches for 87 yards.

Mater Dei’s defense contributed plenty to all of the team’s wins this football season. It was an especially important unit in the Monarchs’ biggest wins of 2018, including Saturday.

They held De La Salle to 3 net yards rushing and kept the Spartans to their lowest points total since a 14-0 win over Folsom in August.

Mater Dei sophomore linebacker Raesjon Davis had a team-high seven tackles including four tackles for losses and two sacks. Sophomore cornerback Jaylin Davies had six tackles. Senior linebacker Steele Dubar had five tackles and a sack.

And this all happened without perhaps the Monarchs’ best defensive player, junior cornerback Elias Ricks. Ricks did not suit up although he was healthy. Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson declined to comment when questioned if Ricks’ absence was a disciplinary result.

Dubar said in some ways it was just another night for the Monarchs.

“We faced adversity all season,” Dubar said. “Kids getting hurt, kids not able to play. But it’s all been great.”

Mater Dei’s defense was great when it recorded three straight shutouts during the regular season against Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, St. Mary’s of Stockton and La Mirada. The Monarchs held nationally-ranked IMG Academy of Florida to its lowest points total of the season in a 28-24 Mater Dei win.

The Monarchs shut out Servite in their Trinity League opener. In Mater Dei’s next game, it held Santa Margarita’s offense to seven points in their second league win.

St. John Bosco popped Mater Dei for 41 points in a 41-8 win by the Braves. Mater Dei then held JSerra and Orange Lutheran to seven points each, and in the playoffs limited Valencia of Valencia to six points, Mission Viejo to 17 and Centennial of Corona to 14 before taking down St. John Bosco 17-13 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship game.

De La Salle presented a unique challenge.

The Spartans have run a split-back veer offense for decades. It’s a quick, deceptive, misdirection offense that few upper-division teams run in Southern California.

Mater Dei had not faced it all season and had not seen it since the Monarchs beat De La Salle 52-21 in last year’s CIF State Open Division championship game in Sacramento.

Mater Dei veteran defensive coordinator Eric Johnson, though, is familiar with the veer option.

“We ran it when I was at Washington State in 1973,” said Johnson, smiling. He was an All-Pac 8 safety for the Cougars, played in the NFL, WFL and USFL and appeared in classic football movies “North Dallas Forty” and “Semi-Tough.”

Another Mater Dei assistant coach, John Hopkins, was the Washington State quarterback in the early ‘70s. He taught the Mater Dei scout team how to run the veer as the Monarchs prepared for Saturday’s game.

“I knew the reads our defense would have to make,” Hopkins said. “Which ones would be difficult and which ones would be easy. And we tried to make it as difficult as possible for them (De La Salle).”

Mater Dei senior nose tackle Evan Bennett plowed through the middle of the De La Salle offensive line all night to put pressure on De La Salle quarterback Dorian Hale. Bennett, 6-foot-2 and 298 pounds, was lined up over De La Salle center Michael Puckett who is 6-1, 235. Even double-team help from De La Salle couldn’t stop Bennett’s harassment.

Bennett made one of the more important plays of the game. De La Salle had just advanced to the Mater Dei 21-yard line on a 49-yard pass. On the next play, Bennett caused and recovered a fumble at the Mater Dei 26. A few plays later the Monarchs scored on a 37-yard pass from quarterback Bryce Young to Bru McCoy for a 14-0 lead.

Mater Dei had two freshmen, defensive backs Domani Jackson and Joshua Hunter, play a lot of minutes Saturday.

“We’ve never had freshman play on defense,” said Johnson who has been Mater Dei’s defensive coordinator for 17 seasons. “Never.”

For the Monarchs to be successful Saturday, Davis said the defensive players just had to execute their assignments.

“We knew if we did it right,” Davis said, “if we stayed on our keys, we’d be all right.”

“Just make sure you do your job,” Davies added. “If you’ve got to help somebody else out, make sure you do your job first.”

The Mater Dei defense did its job Saturday.

Read more about Fryer: Mater Dei’s defense comes through again in win over De La Salle This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Fryer: Mater Dei defense refused to be embarrassed (again) by St. John Bosco offense

Mater Dei’s defense was embarrassed by the way it lost to St. John Bosco last month.

So during this past week, as the Monarchs got prepared for Friday’s rematch, Mater Dei defensive coordinator Eric Johnson rubbed it in. Every day, the Monarchs defense watched replays of their 41-18 loss on Oct. 13.

“We watched every play,” said Johnson, with a wince. “It was kind of embarrassing and kind of hard.”

There was no embarrassment about how Mater Dei’s defense played Friday. The Monarchs gritted their way to a 17-13 win over St. John Bosco in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship game at Cerritos College.

Johnson, who has been Mater Dei’s defensive coordinator over two stints, the most recent starting in 2010, said the Monarchs’ defensive game plan Friday was the same as it was for last month’s game in which St. John Bosco quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei passed for 278 yards and five touchdowns.

“We wanted stop the run, which we didn’t do last time,” Johnson said. “And we wanted to pressure D.J. which we didn’t do at all (last time). Tonight we did all those things.”

The Monarchs sacked Uigalelei, a 6-5, 230-pound junior, three times and limited him to seven completions on 19 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.

Mater Dei sophomore Raesjon Davis had one interception and junior Elias Ricks had one, too. Ricks had three interceptions he returned for touchdowns in the Monarchs’ 48-14 win over Centennial of Corona in the semifinals.

St. John Bosco running back George Holani ran for 118 yards in the October game against Mater Dei. On Friday Holani rushed for 76 yards. The Braves as a team managed only 3.4 yards a carry.

Davis said watching rerun after rerun of last month’s Braves-Monarchs game was educational.

“We saw the successful plays they had against us,” Davis said. “We had to study to see what we didn’t want to happen again.”

Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson always credits Johnson and offensive coordinator Dave Money whenever the Monarchs win a big game. He did so again after yet another win in yet another big game Friday.

“Johnson was unbelievable,” Rollinson said. “The game plan he put into effect, the timing of his blitzes.”

Johnson said there really wasn’t any ingenious strategy he installed this week.

“Actually,” Johnson said, smiling, “I think the kids were just afraid to get embarrassed again.”

PIONEERS SPIRIT

Western won its first CIF-SS football championship Friday with a 49-21 victory over Peninsula in the Division 11 final at Western High.

It was a typical 2018 Western win.

Pioneers quarterback Anthony Munoz passed for 296 yards and five touchdowns. Caine Savage had eight receptions for 169 yards and three touchdowns, and his twin brother Cassius had three catches for 89 yards and touchdown. Cassius returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.

Western alum Tiger Woods lost to Phil Mickelson in their one-on-one, multi-million-dollar golf game Friday. But the Munoz-led Pioneers passing game paid off for another win and a CIF title.

BREA FINALLY BREAKS

Brea Olinda had the most eye-opening run of any Orange County team in the CIF-SS football playoffs.

The Wildcats finished in second place in the North Hills League, which is not exactly one of the stronger leagues in county football. They had to win a road game against second-seeded Heritage Christian of Northridge in the first round of the playoffs and then beat another league champion, North Torrance, in the semifinals.

Brea lost to San Gorgonio 21-17 in the Division 9 final Friday at Brea Olinda High. The Wildcats, of course, are disappointed. Any second-place team that beats a high-seeded team in the first round on its way to a CIF-SS final is a winner.

Read more about Fryer: Mater Dei defense refused to be embarrassed (again) by St. John Bosco offense This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Fryer: Mater Dei defense refused to be embarrassed by St. John Bosco offense again

Mater Dei’s defense was embarrassed by the way it lost to St. John Bosco last month.

So during this past week, as the Monarchs got prepared for Friday’s rematch, Mater Dei defensive coordinator Eric Johnson rubbed it in. Every day, the Monarchs defense watched replays of their 41-18 loss on Oct. 13.

“We watched every play,” said Johnson, with a wince. “It was kind of embarrassing and kind of hard.”

There was no embarrassment about how Mater Dei’s defense played Friday. The Monarchs gritted their way to a 17-13 win over St. John Bosco in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship game at Cerritos College.

Johnson, who has been Mater Dei’s defensive coordinator over two stints, the most recent starting in 2010, said the Monarchs’ defensive game plan Friday was the same as it was for last month’s game in which St. John Bosco quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei passed for 278 yards and five touchdowns.

“We wanted stop the run, which we didn’t do last time,” Johnson said. “And we wanted to pressure D.J. which we didn’t do at all (last time). Tonight we did all those things.”

The Monarchs sacked Uigalelei, a 6-5, 230-pound junior, three times and limited him to seven completions on 19 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.

Mater Dei sophomore Raesjon Davis had one interception and junior Elias Ricks had one, too. Ricks had three interceptions he returned for touchdowns in the Monarchs’ 48-14 win over Centennial of Corona in the semifinals.

St. John Bosco running back George Holani ran for 118 yards in the October game against Mater Dei. On Friday Holani rushed for 76 yards. The Braves as a team managed only 3.4 yards a carry.

Davis said watching rerun after rerun of last month’s Braves-Monarchs game was educational.

“We saw the successful plays they had against us,” Davis said. “We had to study to see what we didn’t want to happen again.”

Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson always credits Johnson and offensive coordinator Dave Money whenever the Monarchs win a big game. He did so again after yet another win in yet another big game Friday.

“Johnson was unbelievable,” Rollinson said. “The game plan he put into effect, the timing of his blitzes.”

Johnson said there really wasn’t any ingenious strategy he installed this week.

“Actually,” Johnson said, smiling, “I think the kids were just afraid to get embarrassed again.”

PIONEERS SPIRIT

Western won its first CIF-SS football championship Friday with a 49-21 victory over Peninsula in the Division 11 final at Western High.

It was a typical 2018 Western win.

Pioneers quarterback Anthony Munoz passed for 296 yards and five touchdowns. Caine Savage had eight receptions for 169 yards and three touchdowns, and his twin brother Cassius had three catches for 89 yards and touchdown. Cassius returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.

Western alum Tiger Woods lost to Phil Mickelson in their one-on-one, multi-million-dollar golf game Friday. But the Munoz-led Pioneers passing game paid off for another win and a CIF title.

BREA FINALLY BREAKS

Brea Olinda had the most eye-opening run of any Orange County team in the CIF-SS football playoffs.

The Wildcats finished in second place in the North Hills League, which is not exactly one of the stronger leagues in county football. They had to win a road game against second-seeded Heritage Christian of Northridge in the first round of the playoffs and then beat another league champion, North Torrance, in the semifinals.

Brea lost to San Gorgonio 21-17 in the Division 9 final Friday at Brea Olinda High. The Wildcats, of course, are disappointed. Any second-place team that beats a high-seeded team in the first round on its way to a CIF-SS final is a winner.

Powered by WPeMatico

OCVarsity updates from tonight’s CIF State football championship games

OCVarsity has the scores and highlights from tonight’s CIF State football championship games. The championship games for Katella and Orange star at 6 p.m., and Mater Dei takes on De La Salle at 8 p.m.

The information updates automatically.

 

Powered by WPeMatico

Fryer: New rivalry helps bring out the best in Mater Dei

CERRITOS – For Bruce Rollinson, the big rivalry will always be Mater Dei-Servite.

“This old-school football coach will always consider Servite to be our rival,” said Rollinson, who played football at Mater Dei in the 1960s and has been the school’s head coach since 1989. “It’s tradition, it’s the number of years we’ve played Servite going back to 1961.”

Vince Brown, Mater Dei class of 1978, is the same way.

“Servite was the rival,” said Brown, who played football at Mater Dei and still holds the school shot put record. “All of my brothers, we all went to Mater Dei and we had a ton of Servite people in the neighborhood, too. You didn’t want to face Servite kids in church the next Sunday if you’d just lost to them.”

But now …

“Fast-forward to the kids of the most recent years and the rival really is St. John Bosco,” Rollinson said.

And Brown said, “I believe St. John Bosco has taken over as the rival.”

Mater Dei and St. John Bosco have played each other four times over the past two football seasons. Two of those four games were CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship games, including Saturday’s Division 1 final won by Mater Dei 49-24.

St. John Bosco beat Mater Dei in last year’s CIF-SS Division 1 final, a few weeks after Mater Dei beat St. John Bosco in a Trinity League game. The Monarchs swept St. John Bosco this season, including a 31-21 win over the Braves in a Trinity League game that everyone expected months earlier would again be for the league championship.

Brown’s son Tommy is the starting left tackle at Mater Dei.

“Tommy grew up hearing about this tremendous rivalry with Servite,” Vince said. “But since he’s been at Mater Dei it’s been Bosco-Mater Dei.”

Tommy, a senior at Mater Dei whose cousin Meg Brown is a top player on the Monarchs girls volleyball team, still bears a good deal of animosity toward Servite.

“We have a hatred for Servite,” Tommy said, rather matter-of-factly. “We want to crush them and disgrace them. With Bosco, it’s more of a respect there, more of wanting to see who the best team is.”

Unlike Tommy Brown, Mater Dei senior receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has not grown up with Mater Dei people all over the family tree. For St. Brown, the Monarchs’ chief adversary, without question, is St. John Bosco’s Braves.

“We’ve had some really good games with them,” St. Brown said.

Saturday’s was not one of them, and St. Brown was a reason for that. Wearing USC receiving gloves, which had to make the recruiting website people go nuts, St. Brown, a senior who has not announced a college destination, had eight catches for 150 yards and a touchdown. He was close to having a couple more receptions but Monarchs quarterback JT Daniels overthrew twice when St. Brown got behind the St. John Bosco secondary.

Daniels did not miss often. It was a typical night for Daniels who was equally efficient and spectacular as he completed 19 of 26 passes. A junior who already has broken the Orange County record for career passing yardage, Daniels on Saturday threw for 299 yards and five touchdowns.

Mater Dei gave up some points and yards Saturday. That’s going to happen against a team as good as St. John Bosco and its better-by-the-week sophomore quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. The Monarchs, though, took control early and clearly were the superior team from start to finish.

Mater Dei was shorthanded on defense. Solomon Tuliapupu, who on Friday won the Butkus Award that goes to the nation’s top high school linebacker, was out with a foot fracture incurred during the Monarchs’ win over Mission Viejo in the Division 1 semifinals. Sophomore Moses Sepulona filled in just fine, and got plenty of pre-snap coaching from Mater Dei senior linebacker Jack Genova.

So now the Monarchs get ready to play De La Salle of Concord in two weeks in the CIF State Open Division championship game. That’s not official just yet; the CIF State office will announce the CIF State Open Division finalists and its regional matchups on Sunday afternoon. The CIF State Open Division teams do not have to play the regional round and go straight to the Open Division game Dec. 16 at Sacramento State.

If Mater Dei wins that game, people will ask if this year’s Mater Dei team is the best in Orange County high school football history … and maybe Southern California or even state history.

Is it Mater Dei’s best team? Given the quality of teams Mater Dei had in the 1990s, saying this is Mater Dei’s best team ever could mean this is Orange County’s best team ever.

“Let’s see what happens in two weeks,” Rollinson said. “They bring back memories of those great teams I’ve had. They play on the edge, they drive you crazy at times but they keep making plays.

“Like I’ve said every time, at 7:37 they put the pedal to the medal.”

That “7:37” refers to the time of kickoff. And when the opponent at 7:37 is your rival, the accelerator gets stomped.

Read more about Fryer: New rivalry helps bring out the best in Mater Dei This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Mater Dei crushes Vista Murrieta, clears first hurdle in playoffs

COSTA MESA – Mater Dei’s run toward its first CIF-SS championship in football since 1999 got off to an inauspicious start Friday night at Orange Coast College.

The Monarchs fumbled the ball to Vista Murrieta on their first offensive play of the game. But Mater Dei knows it’s not about how you start, but how you finish. And the Monarchs are wanting these playoffs to end with a Division 1 championship.

The Monarchs certainly finished strong against overmatched Vista Murrieta, as Mater Dei dominated in its 49-7 victory.

Up next for the Monarchs (11-0) will be Long Beach Poly, which beat JSerra on Friday. Poly won the coin flip and will play host to the second-round game Friday, Nov. 17.

“I don’t really care about that,” Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson said of the fumble that came after a reception. “I want my guys trying to make plays and that’s all that was. It’s not customary for him to do that. He’s had tremendous success. I don’t even give it a second thought. Like I told him forget about it. We’ll stop them and you’ll get some more balls.”

The Monarchs don’t want their season to end like last year’s, with a loss to St. John Bosco in the championship. That loss stung, yet it has fueled Mater Dei, which is the top-ranked team in the nation by USA Today.

“The goal is to win CIF,” said wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who finished with four catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. “That’s been the goal since the end of last season when we lost. That’s been the only thing on our minds, but we know we have to take it one game at a time.”

Mater Dei had several highlights in its playoff opener, especially in the first half, when the Monarchs scored on four straight possessions after the fumble.

Mater Dei’s defense got the ball back on the ensuing play after the fumble with a fumble recovery of its own.

Glenn Harper scored on 6-yard touchdown run. Chris Street plunged in from a yard out. Kody Epps caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from JT Daniels and St. Brown brought in a beautiful pass for a 48-yard TD from Daniels.

Elias Ricks also produced a big-time play when he took back an interception for a 36-yard touchdown.

Corbin Utley, a receiver who wears No. 95, capped the scoring with a 28-yard reception from quarterback Carter Freedland.

Daniels threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns on 12-for-18 passing with no interceptions.

Vista Murrieta finished the season with a 4-7 overall record.

Powered by WPeMatico