Here’s a few performances that will likely be remembered for years to come.
Third place in the Trinity League was on the line when JSerra hosted Santa Margarita on Oct. 27. Things were looking pretty good for JSerra when the Lions took a 27-14 lead in the third quarter, and even better when they went back ahead by seven points with 5 1/2 minutes left in the game, but Santa Margarita came back with a touchdown of its own with 30 seconds remaining. The Eagles then went for a two-point conversion instead of a game-tying PAT and Jake Peters caught the two-point pass from Josiah Norwood for a 36-35 lead. Quentin Buchman sealed the victory with a diving interception with 13 seconds to go.
Best individual performance
Mater Dei or St. John Bosco have been atop the Trinity for the past five seasons, and the league title figured to come down to these teams again. Sure enough, the Monarchs won the regular-season matchup for the second straight year and the league title, and they can thank Amon-Ra St. Brown for leading them to the 31-21 victory on Oct. 13. St. Brown caught eight passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns and also returned a punt 51 yards for a touchdown. He scored the first two touchdowns of the game on a 12-yard touchdown reception and the punt return, giving Mater Dei a 14-0 lead it never surrendered.
Stephon Robins played sparingly as a junior defensive back for Mater Dei last season, but impressed enough over the summer to earn a starting role this season. Robins, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior, led the Trinity League with five interceptions during the regular season. His biggest came in the 35-21 victory against Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, which ended its 55-game winning streak. “Going into the season, everybody said, ‘Mater Dei is good but their DBs are too young. We’ll be able to pass on them,’ Robins told the OC Register after the game. “I think we can play against anyone.”
Julius Irvin helped Servite in a lot of ways during the regular season. He had the second-most receiving yards (526) and the third-most receptions (11) while averaging 47.8 yards per catch. He was also the team’s main punt returner and was on kickoffs too. But the senior was especially valuable on defense, leading the Friars with four interceptions, nine pass deflections, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. Irvin could have committed to any number of colleges before his senior season, but instead let his play increase his value. Notre Dame, Michigan and USC are among the teams vying for his signature.
Ryan Hilinski of Orange Lutheran might be the most overshadowed quarterback in the nation. That happens when you’re the same grade and compete in the same league as J.T. Daniels of Mater Dei, another junior who has committed to USC. But it was Hilinski who threw for more yards during the regular season, albeit because he threw nearly 100 more pass attempts than Daniels. Hilinski passed for 3,094 yards and 28 touchdowns while completing 70.1 percent of his passes. Daniels, by comparison, threw for 2,862 yards and 36 touchdowns while completing 73.7 of his throws.