Santa Ana Mater Dei, which last week upset top-ranked Eisenhower, was routed, 37-7, Friday night by Quartz Hill in a Southern Section Division I semifinal before 8,000 at Orange Coast College.
The Rebels (11-2) advance to next week’s championship at Anaheim Stadium against the winner of tonight’s Loyola-Canyon Country Canyon game.
It was a game decided by a team that lately has been dominant in the second half. Quartz Hill outscored Mater Dei, 20-0, in the final two quarters. In their last five games, the Rebels have outscored their opponents, 122-0, in the second half.
“Everybody knows the second half is our half,” junior tailback Erik Thomas said. “We had to keep up our tradition.”
Friday night, Thomas did his share. He broke two 49-yard touchdown runs in the third quarter and wound up with a game-high 178 yards (148 in the second half) in 18 carries. His performance exemplified Quartz Hill’s ground dominance in the second half, when the Rebels rushed for 272 yards while attempting just one pass.
Mater Dei finished 7-6.