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Bruce Rollinson avoids ‘retirement thing’ as Mater Dei football keeps win streak going vs. JSerra

SANTA ANA — Just one day after longtime Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson announced that this will be his final season, the Monarchs dominated JSerra 54-14 Friday in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs at Santa Ana Stadium.

Mater Dei (11-0) will host Los Alamitos in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 18.

“We’ll have time when the season ends to talk about the retirement thing,” Rollinson said. “I want to keep the focus on the performance of the kids. I made a vow that I was going to keep the focus on them. It’s not about Bruce Rollinson.”

The Monarchs extended their win streak to 28 games, the longest in school history, and added to Rollinson’s career win total, giving him 340, the most in Orange County history.

“It’s an honor for sure,” senior linebacker Leviticus Su’a said of being the last team to play for Rollinson. “To be in his last senior class is an honor and a great opportunity.”

Jordon Davison ran for 158 yards on 14 carries with three touchdowns, all in the first half.

Elijah Brown completed 11 of 18 passes for 145 yards with two touchdowns. The junior also ran for a touchdown.

Mater Dei’s defense held JSerra to just 78 yards of total offense in the first half. Remere Davis, Nasir Wyatt and Zeus Venegas had sacks for the Monarchs. Aydin Breland had multiple tackles for a loss.

On the second play from scrimmage, Jeilani Davis intercepted a JSerra pass and returned it deep into JSerra territory. Brown ran for a 6-yard touchdown to give Mater Dei a 7-0 lead one minute into the game.

Glorien Gough blocked a JSerra punt to give the Monarchs the ball inside the JSerra 20-yard line. Brown threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Brown to give the Monarchs a 13-0 lead.

JSerra (6-6) appeared as if it would make it a competitive game late in the first quarter. The Lions had a six-play, 65-yard scoring drive capped by a 32-yard touchdown pass from Zander Singh to Josh Jornadal to cut the Monarchs’ lead to 13-7.

The Lions drove down to the Mater Dei 2 on their next possession to set up a tying score, but Su’a intercepted a pass at the 1 to end the drive.

Mater Dei went on a 13-play, 98-yard scoring drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run from Davison to increase the lead to 20-7.

Davison ran for two more touchdowns at the end of the first half, from 29 and 66 yards out, to give the Monarchs a 34-7 lead at halftime. The sophomore running back had three touchdowns on three consecutive carries.

“Our offensive line played really well because JSerra does a good job disguising and we handled the stunts and blitzes very well,” Rollinson said.

“It was all being patient and believing in my offensive line,” Davison said. “You could see it in practice, the offensive line was ready and we were excited to get back on the field and show the brotherhood we have.”

Mater Dei went on a 10-play scoring drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock to open the second half. Ajon Bryant ran for a 6-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 40-7.

Jeilani Davis intercepted his second pass of the game on the next JSerra possession. Two plays later, Brown threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Jack Ressler.

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