The nation’s top-ranked team took a double shot at the end of the first half and actually trailed, 21-20.
But Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
, riding the rifle right arm of Alabama commit Bryce Young
, struck with three touchdowns passes in the first six minutes of the second half to key a hard-earned 53-24 game over battle-tested and host St. John's (Washington, District of Columbia)
on Friday night.
Young, who earlier in the week flipped his college commitment from USC, turned around the St. John’s secondary all night, throwing for 417 yards and five touchdowns as the Monarchs improved to 5-0.
St. John’s, which got a superb effort from senior quarterback
, dropped its fourth straight game, all to Top 25 teams. Three of them were ranked in the Top 5.
Mater Dei used a 33-3 second-half blitz to win going away.
Mater Dei went three-and-out and after a short punt and pass interference penalty, Maiava found Jamar Curtis
with a 38-yard touchdown on the second-to-last play of the half, giving the Cadets a shocking 21-20 halftime lead.
But the Monarchs are pretty well battle-tested themselves. Young led a 9-play, 80-yard drive capped with an 11-yard touchdown pass to sophomore CJ Williams
, making it 27-21 with 8:46 left in the third.
A sack by David Bailey
and fumble recovery from Raesjon Davis
set up a one-play touchdown drive, another 11-yard TD strike from Young to Cristian Dixon
, making it 33-21. The two touchdowns came within 58 seconds.
Young was just getting started in the second half. He fired a 61-yard bomb to Kody Epps
and on the very next play, the two hooked up on a 23-yard touchdown, making it 39-21 midway through the third.
After a St. John’s field goal, Cameron Leofa
put it away with an 18-yard touchdown run with 7:37 remaining, making it 46-24. Then Marceese Yetts
added an exclamation point with a 67-yard scoring sprint for the game's final tally.
It was the third straight signature performance from Young, a 6-foot, 190-pound senior. He threw for a school-record 528 yards and seven touchdowns in a 71-21 win over Centennial (Peiora, Ariz.) on Sept. 6. The following week against No. 2 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore), Young, the No. 1 ranked dual-threat quarterback, used his legs to rush for four touchdowns in a 34-18 victory.
On Friday, he went back to the pass and he spread the ball around beautifully. His five touchdown passes went to four different receivers.