It was obvious from the first series that James Farley, a junior running back for Mater Dei High, was going to have a big game.
Farley maintained his strong start and rushed for a career-high 243 yards in 26 carries and scored a touchdown as Mater Dei beat Trabuco Hills, 24-6, in a South Coast League game at Santa Ana Stadium.
Mater Dei, ranked second in Orange County, started at its 25 and moved to the 35 when Trabuco Hills was penalized twice for being offside.
Farley, who came into the game with 363 yards, carried for 26, 29 and 10 yards on the next three plays. The 10-yard touchdown run came with 7 minutes 52 seconds left in the first quarter.
"We were worried about being a little big flat," Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson said. "But [Farley] came ready to play and so did the big guys."
Mater Dei is 7-0, 2-0 in league.
Mater Dei led, 21-6, at the half but was limited to a season-long 35-yard field goal by Mike Fischbeck in the second half. Fischbeck also made three extra points to run his streak to 26 in a row this season.
Mater Dei also got a solid performance from the defensive unit, which was coming off shutouts against Riverside Ramona and Dana Hills.
Trabuco Hills' only touchdown came when Chris Lewis ran 11 yards up the middle on fourth down with 5:27 left in the first half. The Mustangs (1-6, 0-2) had another solid chance to score early in the third quarter after recovering a fumble at the Mater Dei 38.
Trabuco Hills reached the Mater Dei four but on fourth down, quarterback Tom Lindow rolled out to his right and was tackled for a two-yard loss by Mater Dei's Kevin McLean and Ryon Holland.
Mater Dei's Kevin Braga added an interception, his third of the season, to stop another drive in the fourth quarter.
Ryan Souza scored on a 13-yard run late in the first quarter for Mater Dei. Rod Fraser, a tight end, had five catches for 63 yards including a 32-yarder for a touchdown in the second quarter for Mater Dei, which plays its toughest two games of the regular season in the next two weeks.
The Monarchs travel to No. 3 San Clemente next Friday then play host to No. 5 Capistrano Valley Nov. 2 at Santa Ana Stadium.