SANTA ANA — Mater Dei, the No.1-ranked team in the nation, had the opportunity to showcase specific facets of its game and use weapons hardly used up to this point in a 55-8 victory over Kahuku of Hawaii on Saturday night at Santa Ana Stadium.
Quarterback Elijah Brown turned in his usual standout performance, completing 16 of 23 passes for 223 yards and four touchdowns.
The Stanford commit and four-year starter looked particularly sharp leading the Monarchs’ hurry-up offense late in the first half.
Mater Dei (4-0) had a first-and-10 on its 43 with 40 seconds left in the half when Brown threw underneath the secondary to complete a 19-yard pass to Ajon Bryant.
After an incompletion, Brown thew underneath coverage again, this time completing a pass to Shawn Scott for 18 yards.
On the next play, with 19 seconds left, Brown threw a bullet over the middle to a sprinting Marcus Brown for 20-yard touchdown, giving the Monarchs a 41-8 halftime lead.
On defense, the Monarchs had four interceptions and recovered two fumbles, converting five of the takeaways into touchdowns.
Daryus Dixson had two interceptions, with the first converted into a 33-yard touchdown from Brown to Kayden Dixon-Wyatt.
Dixson returned his second interception for an 18-year touchdown late in the game.
“We had a game plan coming in,” Dixson said. “We watched a lot of film, recognized a couple of their little plays and tried to jump them.”
Ramere Davis returned a fumble recovery for a 19-yard touchdown and Nasir Wyatt had a sack and a fumble recovery for the Monarchs.
“Defensively, we’ve been playing very well all year,” Monarchs coach Frank McManus said. “And the turnovers, that’s a big step in the right direction for us. Obviously, when you’re able to get a lot of turnovers, and you can turn them into points, it’s a massive thing for the defense. They’ve really been the backbone of the team thus far.”
The fastest player on the field was arguably the Monarchs’ Nathanial Frazier, who carried seven times for 102 yards and had two receptions for 21 yards.
Frazier had only eight carries coming into the contest, which was by design McManus said.
“He’s got blazing speed,” McManus said. “He’s outstanding. He’s got great balance. Every time he touches the ball, he’s got an opportunity to go the distance.”
The Red Raiders (4-1), who are the two-time defending Open Division state champion in Hawaii and the No.1 team in the state, had at least 2,000 fans make the 2,500-mile flight, nearly filling the visitors’ bleachers.
The Red Raiders debuted at No. 61 in the first MaxPreps national top 100 football rankings released at the start of the season and have since move up to No. 42.
The Monarchs’ only nonleague game against a California opponent was on Aug. 18 against Centennial of Corona.
Since then, the Monarchs have traveled to Utah to play Bingham, hosted Creekside of Fairburn, Georgia, hosted Kahuku and will travel to Baltimore for their final nonleague game against St. Francis Academy on Sept 22.
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