May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

‘We’ve been looking forward to that rematch,’ Mater Dei quarterback Bryce Young says of CIF title game vs. St. John Bosco

Junior quarterback Bryce Young leads the Monarchs into Friday’s CIF finals.

Mater Dei’s football team has wanted a rematch with St. John Bosco ever since the Monarchs lost to the Braves 40-18 in a Trinity League game on Oct. 13.

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On Friday night, third-seeded Mater Dei will get that shot when it takes on top-seeded St. John Bosco in the CIF Division 1 championship game at Cerritos College. St. John Bosco won the Trinity League game over Mater Dei 41-18 on Oct. 13 at Santa Ana Stadium.

Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. and the game will be televised by Fox Sports.

“It’s a good challenge,” said Mater Dei’s junior quarterback Bryce Young after the Monarchs’ 48-14 victory over Centennial in the semifinals Friday night at Santa Ana Stadium. “We’ve been looking forward to that rematch for the whole year. Obviously, they got us last time but this is going to be something that we can work for. We’re not going to take them lightly like we did before. We’re going to work hard, we’re going to prepare. We’ve been wanting this rematch so we’re fired up to have it.”

Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson, who led the Monarchs to the CIF title last year, is looking forward to another big game.

“It never gets old,” Rollinson said. “When they got us the first time, they played really well and our kids were all upset and I’m going to get in there (to the locker-room) and remind them of this, I said,  ‘why are you so upset? You didn’t play well. You go five in a row, get back in the finals and do something about it.’ ‘So we’ll see what we can do.”

Overall, Rollinson was pleased with Mater Dei’s effort against Centennial.

“It was a great performance, we got nobody hurt, we’re healthy and we’re going to the finals,” he said.

Rollinson knows the Monarchs will have to cut down penalties Despite winning by a big margin, Mater Dei was flagged for 179 yards on Friday. It could cost Mater Dei if the problem persists against St. John Bosco (13-0. The Braves are averaging more than 50 points a game.

“I’ve been concerned about it all year,” Rollinson said. “I don’t have an answer. I’ve tried punishing them, I’ve tried teaching them. Are they all on us? I know there are a couple that they’re going to hear about and we’re going to address. Some of them are questionable, I don’t know. We will never forgive ourselves if we get beat because of penalties.

“You’re going to the championship game and you got to clean it up. We’ll address it, that’s the best I can do.”

MATER DEI ROLLS OVER CENTENNIAL IN CIF SEMIFINALS 48-14

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com