It was a game that would determine who would stay alive and who would most likely be eliminated from Angelus League playoff contention.
Mater Dei and Bishop Montgomery came into Thursday night’s game 0-1 and struggling. Despite a shaky start, Mater Dei prevailed, 21-7, in its homecoming game in Santa Ana Stadium.
Mater Dei quarterback Danny O’Neil, fifth in the county in passing, fumbled twice on the Monarchs’ first series. But Bishop Montgomery was unable to capitalize and on its next possession O’Neil led Mater Dei 73 yards for a touchdown on a 1-yard run by Keallii Clifford to make it 7-0 in the first quarter.
The drive included a 31-yard pass to Chip Packard that perched the Monarchs on the Knights’ 1-yard line for a first and goal.
Packard had 3 receptions for 63 yards, statistics teammate Tony Pena appreciated. “Chip came through with some great catches and that takes a lot of pressure off me,” said Pena. But Pena isn’t the county’s leading receiver for no reason. Pena pulled in six catches for 88 yards. And Mater Dei wasn’t even going to him, said Coach Chuck Gallo.
Gallo expected double coverage on Pena but it didn’t happen.