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Mater Dei vs. Corona Centennial scrimmage was good practice for regular season

Corona Centennial coach Matt Logan's team learned a lot from a scrimmage against potent Mater Dei.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Playing the best always prepares you to face the best, so Santa Ana Mater Dei and Corona Centennial were more than happy to face off in a football scrimmage on Friday night. They weren’t allowed to make it an official game because Centennial didn’t have the required 10 days of practice because of COVID-19 protocols, but the players seemed to tackle with the intensity of a regular game.

“Their defense is amazing,” Centennial coach Matt Logan said.

For the record:

6:51 a.m. Aug. 23, 2021An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Texas high school football teams play 15-minute quarters.

Logan said his team was able to score once against the Monarchs, who will open their season on Friday in Texas against Duncanville. Centennial is set to host San Diego power Cathedral Catholic.

Damien also participated in the scrimmage by playing Centennial, which scored multiple touchdowns.

“You needed to have a run through and we got a great one and I will be forever grateful to Matt Logan,” Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson said. “Now we have video tape. We went over it Saturday, and now we can build on that.”

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Logan said it is likely the Huskies will share playing duties at quarterback with junior Carson Conklin and junior Israel Carter.

As for dealing with COVID issues, Logan said, “It’s going to be around all season. We’re going to put in measures to limit the damage.”

He said his team will use video meetings, limit in-person meetings to small groups and he has told players to practice social distancing in class, at lunch and after games.

Different rules in Texas: Rollinson would be happy playing football games in Orange County, but he couldn’t find an opponent, so the Monarchs are headed to Texas on Friday night to play Duncanville. It should be quite a scene.

Rollinson is hoping the Centennial scrimmage prepared Mater Dei for a Texas trip that will offer lots of challenges.

For one, blocking rules are different, with cut blocks allowed and wider hash marks. Coaches will be preparing the Mater Dei players for the changes, but it will be interesting to see what kind of stamina the Monarchs show by the fourth quarter.

Mater Dei’s girls volleyball team is also traveling to Texas this week for competitions.

Redondo Union wins: Redondo Union won the first major girls’ volleyball tournament of the season on Saturday, defeating Harvard-Westlake in three sets to capture the Lakewood tournament.

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Taft also won a tournament, going 5-0 at Burbank Providence.

Stanley healing: Dijon Stanley, one of the top running backs in the City Section, rushed for 217 yards and scored five touchdowns for Granada Hills in the first half of a win over Arleta, but he had to leave the game with an arm injury.

Stanley said he is a little banged up but hopes to return soon after physical treatment. Granada Hills plays Westchester on Friday.

Turner in spotlight: Former Torrance baseball coach Ollie Turner is in Williamsport, Pa., rooting on the Torrance team at the Little League World Series. His son, Gibson, is a key player for Torrance.

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Torrance is the first Los Angeles County team to reach the Little League World Series since Northridge in 1994. That Northridge team included former USC and NFL quarterback Matt Cassel.

Making impact: Former Gardena Serra cornerback Devin Kirkwood, a freshman at UCLA, has been so impressive since enrolling early that he’s expected to start on Saturday in his college debut against Hawaii at the Rose Bowl.


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