SANTA ANA — For most of the first half, Santa Monica was holding its own against powerhouse Mater Dei, but it was fleeting as the Monarchs blew the game open, eventually walking away with a 51-0 rout at Santa Ana Stadium on Thursday.
Despite entering the game as decided underdogs, Samohi was able to hold Mater Dei to just 7 points until late in the second quarter when the Monarchs would score 10 points in less than two minutes before half-time to push the score to 17-0 at the break.
That’s when the wheels fell off.
Just 18 seconds into the second half, Mater Dei began an onslaught that left Samohi searching for answers, eventually ending in a shutout that leaves the Vikings 2-1 on the season.
“We just showed a lackluster effort,” Samohi head coach Travis Clark said. “I think the boys were slightly intimidated.”
Samohi football was limited to just three first downs en route to the loss. A stifling Mater Dei defense limited Samohi to only 31 yards on offense while the Monarchs compiled 465 yards.
The Vikings received the opening kickoff only to be forced to punt during a three-and-out possession. That punt was blocked with Mater Dei picking up the loose ball at the Vikings’ 10-yard line.
The Monarchs wasted little time in scoring the game’s first touchdown just two minutes into the first quarter.
On the ensuing possession, Samohi quarterback Ryan Barbarin threw an interception to cornerback Treavon Coley, who was downed at his own 48-yard line.
Mater Dei was unable to score on the possession, ultimately missing a field goal. But Samohi couldn’t muster enough offense to mount a drive and were again forced to punt. It would be an ongoing theme throughout the night.
While the Vikings couldn’t move the ball, Mater Dei too was limited on offense for much of the first half.
“My hat goes off to Santa Monica,” said Mater Dei head coach Bruce Rollinson. “They played pretty good defense that first half.”
Problem was, they didn’t have enough on offense to make use of the slow Mater Dei start.
It seemed that Samohi would enter half-time fortunate to hold Mater Dei to just 7 points. But the Monarchs would take a punt from Samohi and march the ball down field, capping the drive with a 19-yard pass from quarterback Chase Forest to tight end Thomas Duarte.
Samohi would again be forced into a three-and-out situation, punting the ball away with just 50 seconds to go in the first half, down 10-0.
Mater Dei wasn’t done and again made their way downfield with kicker Tim Strader booting a 25-yard field goal as the half came to an end.
From there, it just got worse for the Vikings as Mater Dei dominated the second half.
Samohi’s Clark said that he’ll use the game as a teaching tool as the Vikings prepare for another Southern California power, Valencia, on Friday.
“We just didn’t execute,” said Samohi senior wide receiver Sebastian LaRue. “Mater Dei played a great game.”
Friday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Santa Monica College.