Jayden Flores leads Mater Dei (3-3) with exceptional play on both sides of the ball as the Crusaders cruise to a 35-7 victory over Castle Park (0-7). The junior cornerback/wide receiver had two interceptions, a forced fumble, and a receiving touchdown. He would have had a career night if both of his interceptions he took to the house weren’t called back due to penalties.
Both offenses came out sluggish in the scoreless first quarter as was anticipated after Mater Dei lost starting Running Back Aiden Calvert last week for the season. Quarterback Cameron Smith jump-started the offense with a deep ball to Shaun Jones to the three-yard line. Back-up turned starting running back Christian Paguian punched it in for a 7-0 lead. Jayden Flores would make his impact in the second quarter with his first interception setting up his five-yard touchdown reception from Smith. Then right before the half, Flores laid the lumber with a big hit on Chris Arana forcing a fumble. Cornerback Ryan Flores scooped and scored off Flores’ force fumble and would also score in the third quarter recovering a blocked punt and returning it 10 yards for a defense and special teams touchdown.
Caste Park’s ground game was never able to gain much traction. Quarterback Eleazar Cruz struggled as well, but finished the night strong with a solid drive capping it with a 3-yard front-pylon throw to Joel Torres.
Coach John Joyner will be happy to carry this momentum into Metro-Mesa League play opening at home against Bonita Vista (0-7), and Castle Park begins Metro-Pacific League play after their Bye week.
The Mater Dei Crusaders (2-3) look to get back to .500 before the start of league play as they host the Castle Park Trojans (0-6) in Week 7. After losing last week’s game to Oceanside 35-17, the Crusaders are looking to stay up with their current trend of neither losing or winning back-to-back games this year. The away team also hopes to maintain their recent dominance over the Trojans beating and outscoring Castle Park 65-18 in the last two games. It was, however, the school’s best two-season run as they went 27-2 with a State Championship win in 2015. It’s not the team of recent past, but they still compete at a much higher level than when Head Coach John Joyner started his reign in 2009 going 1-9 (2-18 combined) his first two seasons of coaching.
The road hasn’t been any easier for Castle Park as they their coach of more than two decades decided to step aside this year. Head Coach and Athletic Director Bernard Ansolabehere has done a formidable job, but Castle Park doesn’t have much fire power or depth on either side of the ball. The one bright spot for the Trojans is Senior Quarterback Eleazar Cruz who gives his squad a chance to win with him behind snap.
Will Castle Park be able to buck the trend of Mater Dei or will the Crusaders prevail once again? You can find out on KUSI Prep Pigskin Report at 10:30 PM on Friday night.