Thursday, December 2, 2021

# 1 Mater Dei returns to challenge # 2 Servita 46-37

When the clock struck 23:00 on Saturday at Santa Ana Stadium, the lights went out in the fourth quarter of the high school soccer game, in which match # 1 Santa Ana Mater Dei was played against # 2 Anaheim Servite. The crowd of 9,000 did not panic. They answered in the same way as at the concert – waving their mobile phones. It was an unforgettable moment in a game that spawned many magical moments.

Lighting was restored and Mater Dei (7-0) walked away with a 46-37 win over Servite (8-1) in a game that had so many attacks that those who weren’t watching should have thought the defense was bad. On the contrary, there were two teams that refused to concede, and the quality of the game left people in the stands grateful that they were sold out.

“I’ve played some tough matches, but this has been a game for the ages,” said Mater Dei receiver CJ Williams, who caught eight assists at 135 yards and one touchdown.

At the most important moment of the first half, a crowd of 9000 people rose in unison and created a buzz as Servite 38 played third and eighth in an equal game with 2 1/2 minutes left. The Monks sent five players into battle with quarterback Elijah Brown. They were all picked up by blockers, and Brown saw Williams break through the center. He spiraled into Williams’ arms to score 36 yards. Quincy Craig then scored on a two-yard touchdown by 24-17 Mater Dei at half-time. It was a perfect performance and showed why Mater Dei is the # 1 team in California.

The brothers did what it took to keep up. They blocked a punt in the first quarter, allowing Jacob Man to get him back on a 33-yard touchdown and lead 10-7. Houston Thomas ran 23 yards for a touchdown 17-10 lead.

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But the Monarchs defense increased the pressure on quarterback Noah Fifita, stalling the Monks momentum as cornerback Cameron Sidney excelled at keeping receiver Tetairoa Macmillan back to six hauls at 51 yards. Mater Day increased the lead 24-17 at half-time. Brown showed 11 of 15 passes for 143 yards. Ralik Brown rushed for 88 yards.

Servite opened the third quarter with an 80-yard drive to level the score 24-24 after a one-yard touchdown for Thomas.

Then it all came down to answering, and none of the teams gave in. Craig, who scored four touchdowns on four transfers, made a six-meter touchdown on a 31-24 Mater Dei. Macmillan caught a touchdown 22 yards to equalize 31-31. Craig followed the touchdown five yards and the Monarchs finished with a two-point conversion when game owner Ryan Didodo yelled “fire” after dropping the snap and passed the ball to Malaki Theo. Didodo broke his wrist during the performance.

Leading 39-31, Mater Dei thought he had a pillow, but the monks returned. McMillan, who finished with 15 receptions for 163 yards, then caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from 10:18 to the end, cutting the Monks deficit to 39-37. The Monarchs then responded when Ralik Brown scored 22 yards with 7:49 left. He finished with a sprint 163 yards.

“I will never forget this game,” Sidney said.

Elijah Brown completed 17 of 23 assists for 247 yards. Fifita was 26 of 41 for 306 yards.

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