From the day it was scheduled, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) visiting defending Super 25 National Champion Mater Dei in Santa Ana, Calif., had the makings for a matchup for the ages.
RELATED: SUPER 25 SCOREBOARD
Given how the game between No. 1 IMG and No. 3 Mater Dei played out, though? The cross-country clash somehow exceeded already lofty expectations, finishing in a 28-24 Mater Dei victory.
While there were plenty of plays to remember from the game, here are our Top 5. (Big thanks to Fox Sports West for the majority of the footage).
#5: Noah Cain hits the truck stick
On a night where he rushed for 130 yards as part of a two-headed attack that went for 311 total on the ground, four-star 2019 IMG recruit Noah Cain left many a defender in the dust.
In addition to scoring the game’s first TD, the former Denton Guyer (Texas) put at least one defender in his sights here, and that Mater Dei player paid the price.
#4. Dollars, Dollars bill, y’all
Mater Dei dipped into its bag of tricks in this one, as you will see not only here but later in the countdown. This double-reverse deep pass set the tone, as Mater Dei’s four-star 2019 Oregon commit Sean Dollars was on the receiving end of this double-reverse deep ball from 2020 five-star QB and USC commit Bryce Young.
The 45-yard connection put the Monarchs ahead for the first time.
#3: Trey bien
On the big stage very far from his Florida home, IMG senior Trey Sanders showed why he is perhaps the top running back in the country.
On this play, it was one quick cut in the backfield, and gone. Right through the teeth of the Mater Dei defense for an 86-yard score. His score, with the extra-point, tied the game at 14-14 with 8:07 to play in the third quarter.
#2: Young scores the go-ahead TD
While his predecessor, J.T. Daniels was busy pulling off a big win for USC about 30 miles up the road, Young provided his own signature moment Friday night. Young went 6-for-6 on the game-winning drive, but it was his plunge into the end zone that provided the dagger.
1. Big man TD!
We can’t deny the majesty of a lineman scoring a TD. It takes on even added significance when a team dials the play up at such a pivotal moment.
That’s what head coach Bruce Rollinson and his staff did here, as four-star Mater Dei junior offensive guard Myles Murao maintained patience, waited on this pass from Young and rumbled into the end zone untouched to give the Monarchs the lead midway through the third quarter.
Murao will someday continue the pipeline of Monarchs to USC. Before he goes off to block for Daniels or Young, Murao might have another TD of his own in him.
Young hitting the back shoulder connection to five-star 2019 WR Bru McCoy for the Monarchs’ first TD.
This punt return from Sanders, which was called back due to a penalty.