Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) has gone back to back.
In another memorable matchup of Super 25 perennial powers, the No. 3 Monarchs held off a late charge from No. 6 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) to emerge with a 35-21 win to clinch a second straight CIF Open Division state football title Saturday night at Cerritos College in Norwalk, Calif.
After a season that started with a win that it had to forfeit for using an ineligible player, then included a midseason loss to a rival St. John Bosco, the Monarchs (13-2) are once again atop the mountain after all of the season’s dust had settled Saturday night.
De La Salle finishes 12-1 after falling in the Open Division title game for the third straight year. The Spartans last won the state crown in 2015.
For Mater Dei head coach Bruce Rollinson, the 2017 ALL-USA National Coach of the Year, the victory was of the milestone variety. Not only did it clinch back-to-back state titles and the chance to still be alive for a Super 25 title, but according to the Orange County Register, it was win No. 300 of his illustrious 30-year career.
Mater Dei senior running back Shakobe Parker ran for three TDs, including a score with 3:56 to play that all but sealed the win. On the final scoring drive of his final high school game, Chosen 25 standout Bru McCoy made two sensational one-handed grabs off passes from junior quarterback and USC commit Bryce Young.
Rollinson told the Orange County Register this week that the chance of getting the 300th career win kind of snuck up on him. After the Monarchs won their opener, 42-14 over Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.), the team had to forfeit when it was discovered the Monarchs used an ineligible player in the game.
“I was thinking, ‘I can’t get to 300,’ ” Rollinson told the Register this week. “’I just lost it with this forfeiture.’ Then a few weeks ago, after we lost to St. John Bosco (in league), somebody said if we run the table we’d be right at 300.”
And that’s just how it played out here in 2018. The Monarchs won seven straight to finish the season, including upending St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) in the CIF-SS Division 1 championship game two weeks ago, followed by Saturday night’s triumph.