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Mater Dei routs Duncanville in Texas-sized whooping

Mater Dei running back Raleek Brown breaks into the clear on a 75-yard touchdown run.
Mater Dei running back Raleek Brown breaks into the clear on a 75-yard touchdown run during the Monarchs’ first offensive play against Duncanville on Friday night in Texas.
(Jerome Miron / For The Times)

DALLAS — First there was silence. Santa Ana Mater Dei players sitting quietly in the shade under a tree adjacent to the 10,000-seat Panther Stadium waiting to be summoned onto the field. Their never low-key coach, Bruce Rollinson, then brought them out for warmups for the routine where he shouts, “Are you ready?” The primal screams from 64 teenagers making their first trip to Texas began their “Friday Night Lights” experience.

“Yes sir!” they answered in unison.

Mater Dei, ranked No. 1 in the nation by MaxPreps, left little doubt of its superiority to Texas 6A power Duncanville in a 45-3 victory. Sophomore quarterback Elijah Brown completed 18 of 22 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Joshua Hunter and Domani Jackson had interceptions to lead a stifling defensive effort.

“It was a business trip,” Hunter said. “We took it serious.”

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Mater Dei cornerback Domani Jackson (3) intercepts a pass for a touchdown.
Mater Dei cornerback Domani Jackson (3) runs for a touchdown after intercepting a pass against Duncanville in the first quarter.
(Jerome Miron/For the Times)

A line stretched around the school for nearly 45 minutes after the 7:30 p.m. kickoff as Duncanville fans tried to get a seat on the home side. They are fortunate to have missed the absolute domination that Mater Dei inflicted from the outset, starting with the USC-bound Jackson returning an interception 38 yards for a touchdown on the Panthers’ opening possession. The Monarchs ended the first half with a 31-3 lead after Quincy Craig caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Brown with 20 seconds left.

Mater Dei’s first offensive play didn’t come until there was 5:20 left in the first quarter, and that’s when Oklahoma-bound running back Raleek Brown ran 75 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown. Mater Dei receivers were routinely open as Brown toyed with the Panthers, completing 10 of 11 passes for 151 yards in the first half.

“Did I see this coming? No. But it was the preparation,” Rollinson said.

A firm breeze helped lessen the humidity that caused both teams to bring out portable fans to spray players with mist. Duncanville’s larger electric fans actually sprayed water. Mater Dei’s were more like the ones a college student brings to a dorm to set up next to his bed hoping for a little relief. The Monarchs could have used a little cooling off.

Earlier in the day, Mater Dei was given a tour of AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

A look at how the top 25 high school football teams in the Southland fared this week.

“You watch games on TV and don’t understand how great it is until sitting there,” Rollinson said. “It’s unbelievable, but I still like the Coliseum.”

Rollinson said the trip that began with a plane ride Thursday from John Wayne Airport and included Smokey Dee’s barbecue Thursday night could not have gone any smoother.

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“The kids did a great job. We have no glitches. They’re ready,” he said before the game.

Duncanville running back Malachi Medlock is tackled for a loss by Mater Dei defenders.
Duncanville running back Malachi Medlock is tackled for a loss by Mater Dei defenders on Friday night in Texas.
(Jerome Miron / For The Times)

Sitting in the bleachers was John Rivers, the uncle of Mater Dei’s Hunter. He lives in Dallas and brought his 13-year-old son to the game. The teenager was wearing a Mater Dei T-shirt. But to show how sensitive Texas fans are about football, he declined to say what school his son attended. He said he was proud of Hunter, who is headed to San Diego State.

Mater Dei still hasn’t found an opponent for next week — no one in California wants to play — and this performance probably won’t encourage other schools to step forward.

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“Yeah, I woke up a few times, ‘What am I thinking going into Texas,’” Rollinson said. “Everybody knows De La Salle came down in 2015 and lost. I wanted to challenge this football team. I can’t get games and I admire Duncanville. It was, ‘Let’s go and have fun.’”

CJ Williams caught six passes for 101 yards and one touchdown. Jack Ressler had a 37-yard touchdown reception from Brown. Duncanville received 122 yards rushing from Malachi Medlock.

“Our really good players did great things,” Rollinson said. “But who cares? It was all about the defense.”

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The Monarchs were headed back to their hotel Friday night to have pizza.

Elijah Brown said, “It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget.”

Mater Dei quarterback Elijah Brown runs for a first down.
Mater Dei quarterback Elijah Brown runs for a first down against Duncanville on Friday night in Texas.
(Jerome Miron / For The Times)


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