High School

No. 6 Centennial Smashes Mater Dei, 44-13

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Corona Centennial

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(Maxpreps)When Matt Logan became the coach at Centennial (Corona, Calif.), he wanted his program to be looked at the same way people looked at Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.). A program that is perennially strong, one that is entertaining, one that wins. Logan even visited the Santa Ana campus and picked Bruce Rollinson’s brain.

Grasshopper has done very well by Rollinson. On Friday night with Mater Dei on the opposing sideline, Centennial delivered one of the worst defeats in Rollinson’s 22-year tenure, a 44-13 nonleague victory that was complete in every way.

This is the fourth meeting between the schools but the first played in the Inland Empire. The series, which has been great thus far, is now tied at 2-2. Centennial won the 2008 game, 47-35, while Mater Dei won 51-37 in 2007 and 31-13 in 2009.

Centennial (2-0) is ranked No. 10 in the state in the MaxPreps rankings. Mater Dei, upset by Carson in its opener, 14-10, dropped to 0-2.

It was Mater Dei’s worst defeat since 2005 when the Monarchs were beaten by Mission Viejo, 48-7.

Credit goes to Michael Eubank for delivering a performance that will be talked about for a long time, and anything short of an Inland Division championship, it might be the performance that defines his high school career. Eubank passed for 200 yards and rushed for 180.

Credit the offensive line which helped Barrinton Collins rush for 160 yards, gain 570 yards total, and score in six of eight first-half possessions.
Credit goes to the defense, which shut out Mater Dei’s offense until 1:40 remained in the game. USC-bound Max Wittek threw a 45-yard scoring pass to Sedric Hill – against the Centennial second reserves.

Credit everyone in the program. Centennial led at halftime, 37-0, and took a 44-0 lead before Mater Dei defensive back John Tavarez returned an interception 13 yards with 8:47 left in the game.

“I wasn’t quite sure where we were,” said Logan, whose team posted a season-opening 48-8 victory over Birmingham-Lake Balboa. “I think maybe we answered some of those questions tonight.”

Maybe. Recruiters may have to answer some questions as well, like why has Eubank been ignored? The 6-5, 232-pound senior has one scholarship offer – from Northern Colorado. The dual-threat’s situation is eerily similar to Cody Fajardo’s last season – and all he did was lead Servite to the Pac-5 and Division II Bowl Championship.

Eubank told reporters he was motivated by having the highly touted Wittek on the opposing team, and he didn’t disappoint. Eubank completed 11 of 17 passes and two touchdowns, and carried 13 times for 180 yards and three touchdowns.

Wittek completed 11 of 25 for 176 yards and two interceptions. Victor Blackwell, a USC-bound receiver who was questionable before the game with a shoulder injury, did play for the Monarchs. He caught six passes for 65 yards while being hounded by Dion Bass and Larry Scott.

On the third play of the game, Eubank broke off an 84-yard run on an option. On the next possession he completed a 36-yard pass to Scott before Collins scored from three yards less than five minutes into the game. Eubank also scored from three yards to make it 21-0, and completed touchdown passes of 12 and 65 yards to Eric Finney to go ahead, 34-0. After a 20-yard field goal by Ezequiel Rivera made it 37-0 at halftime, Eubank ran in from three yards in the third quarter.

Next week Centennial plays at Chaparral-Temecula, the team that opened the season No. 1 in the Inland Empire. Chaparral won last season’s Southern Section Inland Division championship.

Mater Dei, which is struggling badly right now, plays at San Clemente (4-0) next week.

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