Week 8: Eastlake Titans 56, Mater Dei Crusaders 21
Quarterback Richard Colmenero and Linebacker Joshua McCurty had career days leading Eastlake (6-1) to a titanic victory over Mater Dei, 56-21.
The best word to describe Colmenero is composure. The sophomore looked calm, cool, and collected in the pocket completing 23-of-29 passes while throwing for 362 yards and five touchdowns.
With starting running back Parker Merrifield out with a knee injury, a plethora of running backs filled the void for the Titans. Seniors Roman Coe and AJ Hernandez handled the majority of the work, and juniors Darius De Los Reyes and Mateo La contributed as well.
Reyes scored two touchdowns, both coming in the second quarter, scoring from eight yards out and catching one up the seams for a 64-yard score. In the fourth quarter, La had a one-yard touchdown.
The captain of the defense, Joshua McCurty, continued his dominance in Week 8. The South Bay’s best defender racked up 24 tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, and two touchdowns for the icing on the cake. The 24 tackles now give McCurty a Section-best 119 tackles on the season.
The consistent bright spot for Mater Dei (3-5) is running back Aiden Calvert. The junior had two-of-the-three Crusader touchdowns and did it in all facets of the game rushing for 43 yards along with six receptions for 127 yards, and adding a 97-yard kickoff return. This two-sport athlete (football, baseball) is going to be a stud his senior year.
Eastlake in search of their seventh consecutive win of the season will play Bonita Vista (2-6) in Week 9.
Mater Dei will play their last home game of the season against Olympian (1-6).
In Week 8, the No. 5-ranked Eastlake Titans (5-1, 0-0) open Metro-Mesa League play against 2016 champion, the Mater Dei Crusaders (3-4, 1-0).
The Titans have excelled in league play, going 49-10-1 and have recently dominated the Crusaders, winning the last 6-of-7 games played.
This year, Eastlake’s defense and running game have them as the early favorite to win the league for the first time since 2013. On the season, they lead the Metro-Mesa in points scored (211) and points allowed (61).
Through the first five weeks, the Titans’ stingy defense allowed a total of 20 points. Senior Linebacker Josh McCurty leads the talented defense with 95 total tackles and four sacks.
The Titans also average a league-best 265 rushing yards per game. A duo of seniors lead the attack.
Paul Merrifield is averaging eight yards-per-carry for a team-high 424 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. Side-kick Roman Coe is second on the team with 278 rushing yards and three rushing scores.
Mater Dei is coming off a 42-7 victory over Bonita Vista to begin league with a win.
Head coach John Joyner hopes he can ride the momentum of the Crusaders fan base as Mater Dei has played much better at home (2-1) than on the road (1-3).
The Crusaders will rely on running back Aiden Calvert to move the sticks and look for sophomore quarterback Trevor Appelman to play his best game of the season.
Please be sure to catch the highlights on the Prep Pigskin Report at 11 p.m. on KUSI.