Los Angeles Preps: Robert Mase

Orange County: Even Victor Blackwell can't do it alone for Mater Dei

October, 1, 2010

Luis Collazo
Mater Dei receiver Victor Blackwell was incredible in a win over San Clemente last week.

The magic of the three stripes returned to the Mater Dei sidelines a week ago, but if it's a command performance that fans want, it's probably going to take an even greater effort than last week by Monarchs players .

Its annual nonleague game against No. 15 Edison (3-1) tonight at Orange Coast College provides another test for Mater Dei (1-2). It took a monumental step forward last week in a 42-14 upset of previously unbeaten San Clemente in which receiver Victor Blackwell was amazing. He had six catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns, he was faster than a speeding locomotive and he was leaping ... well, just take a look at the photos above. All receivers, if not all players, who turn in description-defying performances this season should henceforth be called Blackwellian. One of the keys this week for the Monarchs is to give the USC-bound Blackwell the opportunity to earn his adjective.

Apart from getting the ball into Blackwell's hands, Mater Dei must also play with the emotion it did a week ago. It all goes back to the Corona Centennial game, a 44-13 loss. Even though Centennial could embarrass a lot of teams by such a score, Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson called it “a rude wakeup call and reality check as to where our mental preparation was. I felt that mentally we weren't dialed into the game. Physically we were overmatched. If you bring some emotion and some fight – we should have represented the program better.”

So that's what Edison has to be wary of. A fired up Monarchs team that is playing for the pride of its past against a very real threat to its present. That cornered animal that San Clemente faced a week ago still has its teeth.

That doesn't mean Edison doesn't come loaded for bear. Defensive linemen Charles Burks and Robert Mase – playing against Mater Dei's work-in-progress offensive line – are a very real threat to Mater Dei QB Max Wittek, and that can impact Blackwell. The Monarchs can't be one-dimensional, either. Corbin Anderson (meniscus) is still out, so RB Josh Valdivia must still pick up the yards to keep Edison's pass rush honest.

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Orange County: Edison's defense locks down Chris Kearney

September, 17, 2010

Tony Tribolet
As evident here, the Edison defense and Allen Atkins were able to keep Dana Hills receiving threat Chris Kearney under tight wraps most of Thursday night.

HUNTINGTON BEACH -- Even though Trent Mason had a big game passing for 104 yards and rushing for 136, Edison's defense looked very competent in its 27-21 nonleague victory Thursday over Dana Hills.

Sure, Mason was fantastic because he's a great athlete. So is receiver Chris Kearney, an outstanding playmaker who routinely burns other defenses. Coming into the game he had caught 10 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns. Against the Edison defense he caught 12 passes for 53 yards. That is not a misprint. Sixteen yards came on one reception, meaning 11 other catches averaged 3.8 yards. That seems unimaginable.

The point is, Edison did a great job of tackling and preventing a big play guy from making the big play and it shows the potential of this defense. Not a lot of teams have a player like Mason in the backfield.

Sackmaster Charles Burks didn't have any sacks of Mason, but he did strip the ball that turned into a 12-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Gavin Perdomo.

Robert Mase did have a sack -- the only one -- and also wrapped up Mason's legs on the Dolphins' final desperate pass of the night. Roland Blackiston and Nicholas Masaniai also made their presence felt on a night that Edison's defense showed that it meant business.