A year after making its first playoff appearance, Mater Academy looks like a team ready to take the next step toward serious postseason contention.
The Lions made the gap between them and the rest of its opposition in District 16-7A look really wide Saturday night as it thoroughly dominated one of the division’s better teams in Ronald Reagan with a 40-0 victory at Ted Hendricks Stadium.
Mater Academy (2-0, 2-0 in district) out-gained Reagan 359-70 in total yards and its defense recorded two interceptions, along with a special-teams fumble return for a touchdown by senior Nico Cerulia that capped the scoring. The Bison (1-2, 1-1) did not reach the red zone.
Junior running back Daniel Doriscar led Mater’s offensive effort with 105 rushing yards and two touchdowns on only seven carries. The Lions went with sophomore quarterback Marlon Serbin primarily Saturday and he completed 8 of 14 passes for 105 yards, a 13-yard touchdown pass to Malik Brown and an interception.
Versatile senior quarterback Temothas Herrington lined up at running back and receiver, but also threw a 40-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter on target to Shimoore Stern, a 6-5, 205-pound junior, who finished with four catches for 65 yards.
“The unselfish play is key for this team because we are very young,” said Mater Academy coach Rocco Casullo, who is in his first season at Mater Academy following a successful stint at St. Thomas Aquinas that included two state championships. “When we can put T.J. at quarterback or line him up at receiver and play Marlon at quarterback and get [Doriscar] going running the football like that we are a dangerous football team.”
Junior linebacker Phyllip Lopez had a sack and senior defensive back Tre Donastorg led a stingy secondary that gave up only one pass completion.
“Our defense worked really hard this week in spite of some of the weather issues,” Casullo said. “A lot of young guys stepped up and executed our game plan.”
In the large, nine-team District 16-7A, Mater Academy only has one more nondistrict game against Hialeah-Miami Lakes in the final week of the season. The Lions led Miami Killian 14-7 in the second quarter before lightning suspended the game the first week of the season, and defeated South Miami last week in its district opener.
“We support each other in practice, the weight room and on the field,” Donastorg said. “We have a lot of athletes on this team that can make plays. We have to make sure we take no one lightly and give it all week to week.”
MA-M. Brown 13 pass from Serbin (Hayes kick)
MA-Doriscar 18 run (Hayes kick)
MA-Stern 40 pass from Herrington (run failed)
MA-Doriscar 57 run (Hayes kick)
MA-FG Hayes 35
MA-FG Chiquillo 42
MA-Cerulia 9 fumble return (Hayes kick)
Rushing (att-yds) -- RR: Vargas 5-(-6), Gejo 2-3, Vargas 2-5, Simmons 3-8, Colon 3-13, Yepez 12-25. MA: Serbin 5-(-10), Brini 2-15, Herrington 2-17, Brown 4-37, Cortez 4-50, Dorascar 7-105.
Passing (comp-att-int, yds)-- RR: Vargas 1-6-2, 22. MA: Herrington 1-2-0, 40, Serbin 8-14-1, 105.
Receiving (rec-yds-TD) -- RR: Yepez 1-22. MA: Nissing 1-(-1), Brown 2-40, Benton 2-41, Stern 4-65.