Mater Dei, ranked No. 1 in the latest High School Football America 100, closed out its 2018 with decisive victory over No. 6 De La Salle to win the Monarchs second straight California Interscholastic Federation Open Division championship. The big question is…did the 35-21 victory before a surprisingly small crowd of 4,823 at Cerritos College also wrap-up the Monarchs second straight “mythical” national championship?
Right now, the answer is maybe with the Monarchs definitely having the inside track after wins over eight teams in the HSFA 100 — No. 3 St. John Bosco (California), No. 6 De La Salle (California), No. 7 IMG Academy (Florida), No. 20 Corona Centennial (California), No. 40 JSerra (California), No. 45 Bishop Gorman (Nevada), No. 88 Mission Viejo (California) and No. 89 Orange Lutheran (California). The Monarchs only on-field loss was to St. John Bosco, a loss they avenged in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship game. The other loss was a forfeit loss to Bishop Amat in the season opener when Mater Dei self-reported using an ineligible player that didn’t affect the outcome of the on-field victory.
Allen (Texas), currently No. 2 heading into Sunday’s release of a new Top 100, still can pick-up two more victories this year. The Eagles face current No. 30 Duncanville in next week’s Texas Class 6A Division I semifinals. A win in the semis would mean the Eagles would face the winner of the game between No. 8 North Shore and No. 32 Lake Travis.
While a state championship would help Allen in its Strength of Schedule, it’s doubtful that it will be enough to push the Eagles ahead of Mater Dei. While, as a state, Texas has been strong this year, Allen’s only win over a Top 100 team was against East High from Utah, which currently isn’t ranked in the HSFA 100.
So, back to the Saturday night win that saw Mater Dei get out to a 28-7 lead through three quarters. De La Salle was able to close to within 28-21 with a little more than six minutes left to play in the game.
Shakobe Harper iced the victory when he scored his third touchdown of the game on a 15-yard run with 3:55 left. Harper finished with 122 yards in 22 carries.
The cherry on the sundae for Mater Dei is the victory was the 300th of head coach Bruce Rollinson’s illustrious career.