What We Learned: No. 1 Mater Dei takes down Orange Lutheran as Trinity League play begins

Photo: Russ Ronchi/Mater Dei Football

Trinity League is underway, but Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California) had no trouble dispatching Orange Lutheran.

The Monarchs won 51-14 as quarterback Bryce Young threw four touchdowns, cornerback Domani Jackson had a pick-six and punting unit helped put the defense in position to get a safety.

Here are some takeaways from Mater Dei’s win:

Even imperfect, Young dominates

Young threw two interceptions in the first half. One, in the red zone, appeared to be tipped at the line of scrimmage, the CIF-SS broadcast group said. The second was a deep pass that was very slightly underthrown, and the Orange Lutheran defender was in good position to take it. It wasn’t the Alabama commit’s best game of the season.

Yet he still threw four touchdowns to four receivers. Mater Dei’s offense moved the ball with apparent ease. On a kickoff in which the Monarchs got the ball inside their own five-yard line, Young promptly ran it for a first down and then continued driving it.

Against St. Frances last month, Young had a pair of fumbles. This game, he had two interceptions. It’s not often that he puts himself in tough situations, but he’s shown that even when he does, he remains cool and calm in and out of the pocket.

Can’t overstate the other facets of the game

Young interceptions are rare, and turnovers in the red zone are even more so. But on the Orange Lutheran drive following that interception, Jackson had a pick-six. On a different drive, Orange Lutheran was inside its own five-yard line. Mater Dei’s defense nearly forced a safety multiple times, as it continued its blitzing with linebackers and linemen alike.

We’ll get to the safety that did happen in a second.

Mater Dei blocked a punt but then was forced to punt themselves. However, the returner touchdown it when he shouldn’t have, almost had a safety, but managed to push it out of bounds at the two-yard line. A couple plays later, the Monarchs did force the safety.

There was success all over the ball, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the offensive line’s continued strong play. It was an all-around dominant performance.

Mater Dei can’t begin to take it easy

Perhaps the only thing that can defeat Mater Dei is itself.

That’s what happened last year, to hear the team describe it. With overconfidence approaching the regular season St. John Bosco matchup, the Monarchs got manhandled by their rival. This year, nobody has been competitive against Mater Dei – but, across the Trinity League Servite gave Bosco a serious scare in a 27-26 Bosco win. Nobody’s safe.

With a blowout Trinity League victory after big wins over national powerhouses including St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) and St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.), the Monarchs may be reaching levels of arrogance. They can’t be doing that. Bosco is facing a challenge as of this story being typed. Mater Dei needs to remember nobody’s invincible.

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