Mater Dei's unfinished business will finish with Open Division title matchup with De La Salle

Monday, 04 December 2017, 02:48:58 PM. Mater Dei will go for a state title when it plays Concord De La Salle for the Open Division championship on Dec. 16.

Tommy Brown, Santa Ana Mater Dei’s 6-foot-7, 330-pound offensive tackle, provided a delicious description of what it was like for quarterback J.T. Daniels going back to pass against Bellflower St. John Bosco on Saturday night.

“He was always back there eating a doughnut,” Brown said. ‘Oh, I might as well throw the ball.’”

On a night in which 11,967 filled Cerritos College’s Falcon Field stadium to capacity, Mater Dei (14-0) proved it was the best team in Southern California and maybe the best high school team in the nation with an emphatic 49-24 victory over the Braves in the Southern Section Division 1 final.

Daniels, a junior committed to USC, was pretty much unstoppable given the blanket protection from his offensive line. He completed 19 of 26 passes for 299 yards and five touchdowns.

There’s still one game left in the Monarchs’ season. The CIF state championship bowl game dates were released on Sunday, and Mater Dei will play Concord De La Salle (11-1) for the Open Division championship on Dec. 16 at Sacramento State in its first-ever bowl appearance.

Sacramento State will be the site for five upper division bowl games Dec. 15-16.

“The motto this year was unfinished business,” Daniels said. “We didn’t get to it last year.”

At last, Mater Dei Monarchs rule Division 1 again Eric Sondheimer

A 17-year drought without a Southern Section football championship is over for Coach Bruce Rollinson and his Santa Ana Mater Dei Monarchs.

You could sense defending champion Bellflower St. John Bosco might be in trouble early in the third quarter Saturday night as quarterback J.T. Daniels enjoyed...

A 17-year drought without a Southern Section football championship is over for Coach Bruce Rollinson and his Santa Ana Mater Dei Monarchs.

You could sense defending champion Bellflower St. John Bosco might be in trouble early in the third quarter Saturday night as quarterback J.T. Daniels enjoyed...

(Eric Sondheimer)

There are several appealing regional bowl matchups that will take Friday and Saturday. In Division 1-AA, Westlake Village Oaks Christian (12-2) will host San Diego Section Open Division champion Helix (12-1) on Friday night and face the winner of Fresno Central (12-1) vs. Folsom (14-0).

In Division 1-A, Lancaster Paraclete (13-1) will play at City Section Open Division champion Harbor City Narbonne (10-3) on Saturday at 6 p.m. The winner advances to play Pittsburg (8-2) or Granite Bay (12-2).

In 2-AA, San Bernardino Cajon (13-1) plays at Moreno Valley Rancho Verde (12-2) on Friday and will face San Mateo Serra (11-2) or Tulare Union (13-0). Union has running back Kazmeir Allen, who has 70 touchdowns and committed to Chip Kelly of UCLA this past week.

In 2-A, San Bernardino Aquinas (14-0) plays Simi Valley Grace Brethren (12-2) at Moorpark College on Saturday and will play the winner of Mountain View St. Francis (9-4) vs. Manteca (12-2).

City Section teams Crenshaw and Huntington Park are headed on long road trips. Crenshaw (10-3) will play at Oceanside El Camino (8-5) on Friday in 4-AA and Huntington Park (11-3) will play Vincent Memorial (11-2) at Calexico in 6-A on Saturday.

A year ago, Mater Dei was 13-0 and lost in the Division 1 final to St. John Bosco 42-28.

“Revenge feels good,” Brown said.

It was the big men up front who powered the Monarchs. The line group consisting of Brown, Chris Murray, Myles Murao, Kekaniokoa Gonzalez and Mason Kolinchak were surprised but happy that the Braves only rushed three for much of the night.

San Fernando matches Dorsey's speed for 28-21 victory in City Section Division I title game Steve Galluzzo

In a matchup between two of the fastest teams in the City Section, San Fernando controlled the line of scrimmage and the clock to grind out a 28-21 triumph over Los Angeles Dorsey in the Division I championship game Saturday night at El Camino College.

The Tigers won their eighth City title and...

In a matchup between two of the fastest teams in the City Section, San Fernando controlled the line of scrimmage and the clock to grind out a 28-21 triumph over Los Angeles Dorsey in the Division I championship game Saturday night at El Camino College.

The Tigers won their eighth City title and...

(Steve Galluzzo)

“J.T. didn’t get touched,” Brown said.

St. John Bosco Coach Jason Negro said the Monarchs’ offensive balance left him with few strategic choices.

“It’s tough,” he said. “It’s damn if you do, damn if you don’t. They’re super difficult. We didn’t get into a rhythm defensively.”

For veteran Coach Bruce Rollinson, victory was very rewarding. The Monarchs hadn’t won a section title since 1999. On their 18th attempt, they won it all. There are plenty of Division 1 schools that get rid of coaches after five years without winning a title. Mater Dei stayed the course.

“There were a lot of people giving up on me,” Rollinson told reporters afterward. “I guess we showed them.”

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The Times' Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry preview the Rams (8-3) match up with NFC West division opponent Arizona (5-6) Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Rams shutout the Cardinals 33-0 when the teams met in October at Twickenham Stadium in London.

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Rams players will take part in the NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign when they play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Check out the custom designs that will be worn by Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald and more.

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Chargers beat writer Dan Woike joins Annie Heilbrun to talk playoff (?!) pushes, facing a winless Browns team and more.

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eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

Twitter: @latsondheimer

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