Mater Dei football starts Frank McManus era by beating Centennial – Orange County Register

Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now
CORONA — Mater Dei’s football team began a new era Friday with a similar result.
A victory against Centennial.
The Orange County powerhouse beat its rival from the Inland Empire for the fifth consecutive time with a 28-14 triumph in the head coaching debut of Mater Dei’s Frank McManus.
Before a sellout crowd at Centennial High for the season-opening game, the Monarchs led 21-0 before the Huskies charged in the fourth quarter to give the Monarchs a major scare.
Centennial’s Tayten Beyer returned an interception 55 yards for a score with 4:34 left in the fourth to trim the lead to 21-14, but the Monarchs responded with a 5-yard TD run by Nathaniel Frazier with 2:22 remaining to seal the victory.
Stanford-committed quarterback Elijah Brown tossed two touchdowns to lead Mater Dei’s offense while the Monarchs’ defense recorded eight sacks and recovered a key fumble in the fourth.
“There’s a lot to learn and grow from today,” McManus said. “When (we) look at the film, there’s definitely some opportunities that we can look at and I think we’ll make those fixes.
“(But) any time you get a W it’s a good thing,” the coach added, “especially against Corona Centennial. That’s a top team.”
Mater Dei entered the season ranked No. 1 in the nation in several polls, including MaxPreps and High School Football America (HSFA). The Monarchs’ placement was expected because of the high number of talented, returning starters on both sides of the ball.
The most compelling storyline of the offseason was the promotion of McManus to head coach in March.
The team’s defensive backs coach replaced longtime coach Bruce Rollinson, who surprised many by announcing his retirement before the playoffs began last season.
Rollinson, who built Mater Dei into a national juggernaut during a 34-year run, stated earlier in the season that he would likely return in 2023 and continue to coach in his 70s.
After the Monarchs fell to St. John Bosco in the CIF-SS Division 1 final last season, Rollinson simply stated it was “time to get another person at the helm.” The program had been dogged by a hazing allegation but Rollinson’s departure created an opening for McManus.
As Mater Dei’s new coach Friday, McManus’ demeanor reflected what he showed during summer passing competitions. In warmups, he engaged players with high-fives and flashed a smile before heading to the locker room.
But when it came to Mater Dei’s traditional pregame march, Brown led the team onto the field.
“I wouldn’t say there were necessarily nerves as far as the on-the-field portion of the game,” McManus said. “My anxiety, if there was a little bit, was probably more of the transitions and the lead up to the pregame. The halftime in the locker room. The postgame.”
Brown overcame a slow start by tossing a 23-yard touchdown on a fourth-down play to a leaping Marcus Brown to open the scoring early in the second quarter.
The Monarchs drove 75 yards for the score after the first of two sacks by linebacker Abduall Sanders forced the Huskies to turn the ball over on downs.
On Mater Dei’s next possession, running back Jordon Davison capped another long scoring drive with a 6-yard TD run.
The Monarchs’ defense posted four sacks in the first half against Husan Longstreet. Linebacker Ramere Davis added two early in the second half.
Sophomore Shawn Scott also finished with two sacks.
Next week, Mater Dei travels to play Bingham of Utah on Saturday, Aug. 26. Bingham lost its season opener to Long Peak of Utah 27-7 on Aug. 10.
Centennial, ranked No. 22 by HSFA, travels next week to Orange County to face Santa Margarita on Friday, Aug. 25, at Saddleback College.

See also  Panoramic Information Tesla: Surpassing Expectations and Navigating Challenges in Q2 2023 day 02/07/2023

Related Posts