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Servite vs. Mater Dei Preview

Richard Lopez, Staff Writer

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Dubbed the Holy War of Orange County, the Servite-Mater Dei rivalry dates back to 1961 when the two distinguished schools first met in the field of battle otherwise known as, the football field. Now, almost 55 years later, the two teams meet again in the glorious Angel Stadium where both teams hope for a win for their school’s record.

Servite’s Offense vs. Mater Dei’s Defense

Led by quarterback Tyler Lytle ‘17, the Servite offense hopes to bounce back from their unusual performance the previous week. Servite’s offense runs a very complex spread system, making it difficult for many opposing teams to gameplan against them. However, the complexity of the offensive system does not mean that success will always happen.

The offense got intercepted 3 times with 2 returned for a touchdown (maxpreps.com) in last week’s league game against Orange Lutheran. The team managed to come back with 4 passing and 2 rushing touchdowns (maxpreps.com). Servite’s depth in the running back corps means that the offense will always have a solid run game. Opposing teams should never celebrate when the starting running backs gets injured as the next man up is equally as versatile. With key players like John Mumphery ‘17, Kyle Ford ‘19, and Steven Muise ‘17, Lytle has options in both the passing and run game.

As the team with least amount of points allowed, the Mater Dei defense stands as Servite’s toughest opponent on offense all year. Not only does Mater Dei run a base 3-4 defense, they have also shown nickel packages with a four front as well as eight in the box and base 4-3 looks. The Mater Dei front seven, otherwise known as the defensive linemen and the linebackers, give their opponents a “run for their money.”

Mater Dei’s Front Seven never fail to display speed, physicality, and smarts, making them a nightmare for opposing offense. Overall, the Mater Dei defense allowed about 70 total points from all of their opponents combined (maxpreps.com). In the last game, Mater Dei picked up four sacks against quarterback Re-Al Mitchell along with 2 interceptions (maxpreps.com), which can be huge game changers. Key players to watch are Chase Ault ‘17, Jalen Cole ‘17, and Sal Aguilar ‘17 as they pose the biggest threat to Servite’s offense.

In order to win the battle against the defense, Servite’s offense must accomplish a few tasks that Mater Dei’s previous opponent have been unable to do. First and foremost, Servite must score more than just a few points on offense. In order to do so, Servite must exploit some of the weaknesses in the Mater Dei defense.

Because of the linebacker’s over aggressiveness, this allows for trick plays such as play action plays and reverse plays. Servite’s offense must then limit the amount of offensive penalties they draw as penalties, as evident in past games, can make or break the game.

Mater Dei’s Offense vs Servite’s Defense

Led by cornerback All-American Keith Taylor ’17, the Servite defense boasts one of the best secondaries in the league. Totaling 7 interceptions, Servite’s stats for the secondary almost guarantee an interception every game. In last week’s matchup against Orange Lutheran, they made some crucial interceptions including a 4th quarter red zone interception and a pick six. Running a base 3-4 defense, the Servite Defense boost speed as one of their primary qualities, forcing their opponents to change their gameplan.

Along with the front seven, the Servite Defense made many key stops in last week’s bout with Orange Lutheran and showed that they are a force to be reckoned with. With key players such as Ezra Tafua ‘17 and KJ Trujillo ‘19, the Mater Dei offense must game plan for this defense as it will not be a cakewalk against this defense.

The Mater Dei offense, controlled by JT Daniels ‘19, runs a spread offense, much like many of the other schools in the Trinity League. Unlike some of the other Trinity League offenses, Mater Dei appears to run a more vertical offense with wide receivers running more streaks and deep post routes. Throughout the whole season, the high-powered Mater Dei offense scored 56 touchdowns (maxpreps.com) making them the highest scoring offense in the league.

The only starting senior on offense, Osiris St. Brown serves as the number two target as his younger brother Amon-Ra gets more looks on passing downs. Players like Tommy Brown ‘18, Osiris St. Brown ‘17, Amon-Ra St. Brown ‘18, and Shakobe Harper ‘19 may impact the game as they give quarterback Daniels options to work with.

The Rematch

If Servite sticks to the gameplan and plays with heart, they may succeed in one of the greatest upsets in league history. However, if they fail, Mater Dei will win the football game. From everyone in the studio, good luck to both teams and may God bless us all!

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Servite vs. Mater Dei Preview