Mater Dei and De La Salle will head into this year’s CIF Open Division final on Dec. 16 at No. 1 and No. 3 in the state. This week’s biggest movers include Oaks Christian, up from No. 11 to No. 8, Paraclete, up from No. 19 to No. 12, and Helix, up from No. 20 to No. 13. We also have both Granite Bay and Serra of San Mateo coming into this first part of the weekly State Top 50.
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(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)
(After games of Saturday, Dec. 2)
**Losses or wins by forfeit not included.
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 14-0
It was another fabulous display of offense, defense and special teams as the Monarchs beat No. 2 St. John Bosco for the second time this season 49-24 to win the CIF Southern Section Division I title. Offensively, junior QB JT Daniels went 19 of 26 for 299 yards and five TDs with three of those scores going to fellow junior Bru McCoy. Amon-Ra St. Brown also had a strong night with eight catches for 150 yards and one TD. The running game also produced a 100-yard night for junior Shakobe Harper. Defensively, facing a Braves’ team that hung 62 points the week before, the Monarchs were more than solid, especially considering No. 1 linebacker and All-American Solo Tuliaupupu was out with the foot injury. Andrew Faoliu (2 sacks) and Jack Genova (9 tackles) led that unit. Head coach Bruce Rollinson probably knows by now that this is the best team he’s ever had (including the two from 1994 and 1996 that were No. 1 in the nation by USA Today) and one of the best in state history. To clamp all of that down, however, still requires one more win in the CIF Open Division state final. That matchup will be on Saturday, Dec. 16 at Sacramento State against De La Salle of Concord. The Monarchs played DLS four times from 1998 to 2002 and the 1998 game that the Spartans won 28-21 is still one of the two greatest wins they’ve ever had, especially because MD later beat an undefeated Long Beach Poly squad to win the CIFSS Big Five title. That championship is the last time the Monarchs won the top division in the CIFSS by themselves. They were co-champions with Poly in 1999.