Mater Dei Buries Servite in Series' Biggest Landside

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

It could have been argued that this year's edition of the Mater Dei-Servite rivalry was over before it even started.

It almost was.

Twelve seconds into the game, Mater Dei's Mike McNair took the handoff from quarterback John Leonard and raced around the left side for an 80-yard touchdown run, and it was all downhill from there as the top-ranked Monarchs cruised, 47-0.

Mater Dei (5-0), ranked No. 1 in Orange County, the Southern Section Division I and second in the nation, racked up 370 yards of total offense in the first half and led 35-0 at halftime.

The Friars (1-4), who have managed only one victory, a 17-0 triumph over Irvine, played Friday without starting quarterback Ryan Garko.

The result was the most lopsided game in the 36-year history of the series. The biggest blowout prior to Friday was Mater Dei's 44-0 victory in 1991, and the Monarchs surpassed that when Pat Cope made a 46-yard field goal with 3 minutes 10 seconds remaining.

McNair highlighted the offense's gaudy numbers, gaining 231 yards in 20 carries in three quarters. He scored on a 30-yard run early in the second quarter and also caught one pass from Leonard for 32 yards.

Leonard completed eight of 16 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

Leonard's first touchdown pass was an 11-yard toss to Joey Boese and the second was a middle-screen pass that Alex Romero, who had three receptions for 107 yards, turned into a 74-yard scoring play to make it, 21-0, with 1:08 remaining in the first quarter.

Leonard also turned in one of the game's most electrifying plays.

Servite trailed, 28-0, but finally stopped Mater Dei for the first time at the Servite 47 with four minutes remaining in the second quarter. Leonard, who is also the team's punter, lined up in punt formation, but the Friars broke through and had a chance to block the kick.

Instead, Leonard faked the kick, tucked the ball away and sprinted to the right sideline before weaving his way through the Servite defense for a 47-yard touchdown run.

"I couldn't believe that one," Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson said.

The only blemish on the game was a brief altercation that broke out midway through the third quarter. The result was the ejection of Mater Dei defensive back Dusty Ishii and Servite wide receiver Matt DeLellis. Both players will be suspended for their team's next game.

Servite's winless streak in the series stretched to nine. The Friars' last victory came in 1988 when future NFL and Nebraska standout, Derek Brown, scored five touchdowns in a 42-24 victory.

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