High School

Mater Dei wins Edison passing tournament; two teams sent home for fighting

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Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei of St. John Bosco looks downfield during an Edison tournament game. Mater Dei beat St. John Bosco in the final.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

The seven-on-seven passing season really doesn’t enter the serious stage until the Edison tournament brings together a who’s who of top programs, raising everyone’s game and testing individuals to see how they respond under pressure.

Unfortunately, Saturday’s competition under clear skies and warm temperatures produced a moment two teams will come to regret. La Habra and L.A. Cathedral faced off in a morning game. La Habra scored the game-winning touchdown. Soon, fights involving players and adults broke out all over the field.

“It was bad,” St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro said while watching nearby.

Order was restored but both teams were told to go home, a first in the 22-year history of the event. A new rule this year gave officials authority to disqualify teams for fighting. Police were called but no arrests were made.

Cathedral coach Anthony Jefferson said one of his players was hit on his lip and retaliated with a push. That’s when the brawl began. He said he intends to discipline any player he found fighting.

La Habra coach Frank Mazzotta said his team has never been involved in a fight in the 22 years of the tournament. “All I know we scored, then the next thing there’s a melee,” he said.

Both sides complained about taunting, but the end result is both teams probably won’t get an invitation to return next season.

“Every choice has consequences,” Mazzotta said.

As for action on the field, the big surprise was Santa Ana Mater Dei, which won throughout the day while playing without quarterback Bryce Young, who was in Texas competing at a national camp. Tobey Schmidt, the quarterback for last season’s freshman team, led the Monarchs to the championship, defeating Long Beach Poly in the semifinals and rival St. John Bosco in the final.

Kyron Ware-Hudson caught several clutch touchdown passes and the Monarchs’ surplus of outstanding defensive backs came through. Coach Bruce Rollinson has to be thrilled that he may have found a quality backup to the USC-bound Young.

It was the fourth consecutive year the Monarchs have won the tournament.

The other finalist was no surprise. St. John Bosco had quarterback DJ Uiagalelei and standout receivers Kris Hutson, Logan Loya and Beau Collins. The Braves beat Servite in the semifinals.

In other news, Oaks Christian appears to have settled on Harvard-Westlake transfer Jameson Wang as its starting quarterback.

Gardena Serra continues to have a competitive battle at quarterback between senior Doug Brumfield and sophomore Maalik Murphy.

Narbonne was once again without coach Manuel Douglas, whose availability to be with the Gauchos is uncertain while an investigation takes place by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Gauchos’ only losses on Saturday were to Mater Dei and St. John Bosco.

Norco, behind quarterback Shane Illingworth, won the consolation bracket, defeating Oaks Christian in the final.

In the Simi Valley passing tournament, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame defeated Chaminade in the final.

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