I should’ve worn my track shoes last Friday night instead of the caramel-colored suede boots I donned for the games. I had every intention of staying for the entire Mater Dei-Centennial semi-final playoff game expecting a close ballgame between the two nationally ranked teams. What I didn’t expect to see was a complete Mater Dei blowout of Centennial, in the first half!
Mater Dei jumped out ahead of Centennial 35-0 thanks to 5-Star defensive back Elias Ricks jumping routes and picking off three Husky passes for touchdowns. Back-up Centennial quarterback Ala Mikaele threw the first Ricks pick for a 11-yard return. Carter Freedland, the starter threw the other two Ricks picks. One of the interceptions was returned for 32 yards, the other for 40 yards as Ricks raced down the sideline to build the Monarchs’ lead to 21-0 early in the second quarter.
Freedland and the Huskies can only wonder “what if?” What if the referees had not blown an early whistle essentially thwarting what was a brilliant zone-read fake to the runningback by Freedland, and a 50 yard touchdown run after keeping the ball? The refs were seemingly unprepared for the play and blew the play dead, negating the brilliant run by Freedland which would’ve put Centennial ahead of Mater Dei 7-0 to begin the game. See highlights of the game, including the controversial blown whistle below.
A 35-0 Mater Dei lead at half-time signaled an early departure for me. It was time for me to put my track shoes on and run like Ricks to Pico Riviera to catch the end of the Eisenhower/El Rancho Division 10 semi-final playoff game. I made it in time to see “Ike” pick off a formidable El Rancho team 34-21. Eisenhower [Rialto, CA; 13-0] will face Highland [Palmdale, CA; 13-0] for the CIF Southern Section Division 10 Championship in Rialto on Saturday, November 24. See the full post-game interviews with Eisenhower’s defensive coordinator, and standout defensive tackle, Sataoa Laumea below.
#3 Mater Dei [Santa Ana, CA; 11-2] will meet #1 St. John Bosco [Bellflower, CA; 13-0] for the second time this season. Bosco blew the Monarchs out in a regular season rivalry game earlier this season 41-18. This rematch will be for the CIF Southern Section Division 1 Championship.
Cerritos College [Cerritos, CA] will be the host site on Friday, November 23 with kickoff at 7:30 PM. HSPN Sports West will be on hand to provide you with insights and highlights before, during and after the game.