Week 5: Mater Dei Crusaders 26, Chula Vista Spartans 0
The Mater Dei Crusaders pulled away in the second half and shutout the Chula Vista Spartans, 26-0.
Both teams would squander opportunities in the first half as both defenses were playing to the old adage, “bend don’t break.”
The only score in the first half was a 22-yard field goal by Jason Quinonez.
Aiden Calvert was the first to cross the goal line in the 3rd quarter from 24 yards out extending the Crusader lead, 10-0. He nearly went untouched finding a hole off the right side.
The junior running back has good size and balance, and according to Head Coach John Joyner.
“He can track a baseball down with the best of them playing center field for the Crusaders,” Joyner said.
Calvert was mentioned in our preview as a guy to rely on offensively and he paid huge dividends for the Crusader offense tonight.
Another mention in our preview was defensive sophomore Michael Harrington, who showed up in a big way.
After Calvert’s score, the Spartans were driving and Harrington might have come up with the biggest play of the game.
On a third-and-two, he met the Spartan running back in the hole and blew him up, forcing the fumble, then recovering it in Crusader territory.
Mater Dei (2-3) created four turnovers that resulted in 17 points and their first shutout of the season.
Harrington was involved with two turnovers as he would also intercept the ball at midfield and take it the the house for a pick six in the fourth quarter.
The Spartans are really aching from injuries right now. They just hope they can get healthy by the time league play begins.
Both teams will try their luck next week on the road as Mater Dei travels to Oceanside and Chula Vista heads to Morse.
Believe it or not, we’re coming up on the half-way point to the season. In the South Bay, the Chula Vista Spartans (2-2) play cross-town opponent, the Mater Dei Crusaders (1-3), on Friday night.
It has been eight years since these two programs last faced each other on the gridiron. The history has been short-lived starting in 2008 and ending in 2010 when the Spartans defeated the Crusaders three years in a row.
The Chula Vista Spartans began the 2018 season 2-0 atop the Division IV standings but since have dropped the last two games.
A bright spot up front for the Spartans’ defense has been Feleapa Toilolo, who leads the team with six sacks on the season.
The surprise in the secondary has been Safety Dylan Sallee who leads the team in tackles with 15.
Crusaders head coach John Joyner has seen the best and worst years at Mater Dei now in his tenth season. He started his first two years with the program going 1-9, then propelled the program to its only state championship win in 2015 and section championship victory in 2016.
The Crusaders had athletes and big hitters on defense to keep them in games but it was the offense of quarterback Chris Jones and running back CJ Verdell that gave the 2015 and 2016 teams the advantage.
In a building-up year with more than a dozen sophomores on the roster, Joyner has the pieces in place to make a run in a tough Metro-Mesa League.
Defensively, Mater Dei has two sophomore linebackers that they can build around. Michael Harrington and CJ De Vault cause havoc in the backfield and are ball hawks.
Offensively, the Crusaders are trying to develop sophomore quarterback Trevor Appelman, who stands tall in the pocket at 6-foot-4.
Sophomore athlete Patrick Nieves and junior running back Aiden Calvert have taken some pressure off of Appelman.
With such an evenly-matched contest, this game could easy come down to a defensive turnover or special teams. The recipe for both offenses is to establish the run game controlling the ball and time of possession.
Please be sure to catch the highlights on the Prep Pigskin Report at 11:00 p.m. on KUSI.