Game 10 - Mater Dei

MATER DEI 21, EAGLES 7 (FULLERTON, Nov. 14, 2003) – Mater Dei rebounded from three consecutive losses to the Eagles by posting a 21-7 win over their rivals before a crowd of 6,000 at Cal State Fullerton. The win improved the Monarchs to 6-4 and gave them a share of the Serra League title with Loyola. The Eagles fell to 7-3 and finished tied for third in league with a 2-3 mark, but still qualified as an at large team in the CIF Division I playoffs which begin this week.

The first few possessions were a series of punts, turnovers and overall sloppy play as Mater Dei gained 21 yards and the Eagles 44 of their own as the first quarter ended scoreless. Two interceptions by Jesse Mier of Mater Dei on the opening two Eagle drives gave the crowd something to cheer about, but neither led to any points. A fumble recovery by Jack Meehan stopped the Monarch’s third drive of the quarter, but it didn’t give the visitors any momentum either. On Mater Dei’s first possession of the second quarter they marched 55 yards on six plays capped by an eight-yard run by quarterback Jason Forcier to make it 7-0 at the 9:47 mark. After forcing an Eagle punt, the Monarchs used 5:13 to go 71 yards on nine plays to go up 14-0 when Rick Russell scored from five yards out with 2:36 left in the half. The Eagles drove to the Monarch 38 on their next possession; however, a fourth down pass from Michael Angelo to Mark Restelli with 0:13 seconds left fell incomplete.

Mater Dei went on a 67-yard drive to start the third quarter and increased their lead to 21-0 when Justin Guzman scored from a yard out at the 4:21 mark. The Eagles allowed only one first down the rest of the game, but the offense had difficulty moving the ball with any consistency to mount any threat. The Monarchs forced punts on the Eagles next three possessions before Angelo (53 yards rushing, 14 of 23 for 148 passing) scored on a two-yard touchdown run to make it 21-7 with 3:28 remaining to close out the scoring.

Meehan once again spearheaded the Eagles’ defensive effort as he contributed 11 tackles while Matt Rupp chipped in nine and his 10th sack of the season. Wide receiver/free safety Ryan Nienhuis caught a career-high six passes for 73 yards to lead the offense and added nine tackles of his own.