Does high school football have a new king?
Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), ranked No. 1 in the Super 25, beat three-time national champion Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 35-21, on Friday night to snap the Gaels’ 55-game winning streak.
Gorman, ranked No. 3 in the Super 25, had not lost since Oct. 4, 2013 against Booker T. Washington (Miami) by a score of 28-12. Among those 55 victories were 18 against out-of-state opponents, including 12 from California.
The Mater Dei win, however, comes with almost an entire season to play. The Monarchs must navigate the difficult Trinity League and the Southern Section playoffs. That path includes challenging meetings at St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) on Oct. 13 and against Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) in two weeks.
Bishop Gorman (1-1) hosts nationally ranked Miami Central and De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) in the next two weeks before opening play against Nevada schools.
Bishop Gorman trailed 28-7 after three quarters and seemed to be on the ropes, but the Gaels roared back. Amod Cianelli had a 4-yard run off the right side to cut the lead to 28-14 with 10:41 remaining and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson hooked up with Brevin Jordan on a 49-yard strike with 8:45 left.
But Mater Dei answered – and answered quickly – 77 yards in four plays in 1:32 to push the lead back to 35-21 with 7:13 remaining. Shakobe Harper scored on a 20-yard run.
Harper’s run was set up by a long throw and great catch.
Harper was among the keys for the Monarchs (2-0), who showed more of the run game than usual. Harper rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
In what could be a QB rivalry at the college level, USC commit JT Daniels was 19 for 32 for 315 yards and two touchdowns for Mater Dei. UCLA commit Dorian Thompson-Robinson was less efficient, going 15 for 37 for 334 yards with two touchdowns but with two costly interceptions for Gorman.
Of note, USC coach Clay Helton and UCLA coach Jim Mora were at the game.
Mater Dei opened up a 28-7 lead on a 42-yard interception return by sophomore Darion Green. That followed a 26-yard TD by Cal commit Nikko Remigio from Daniels that capped a three-play, 80-yard drive.
Remigio also had a 20-yard TD catch from Daniels that gave Mater Dei a 14-0 lead with 4:06 left in the first half. Gorman answered with an 82-yard pass play from Thompson-Robinson to Cedric Tillman to cut the lead to 14-7.
Remigio finished with 113 yards on six receptions, including the two touchdowns. Bru McCoy also caught six passes for 144 yards. When you add in Amon-Ra St. Brown, who is considered by some as the top-ranked receiver in the Class of 2018, Mater Dei might have the most loaded receiving corps in the nation.