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Football: Servite's "picky" defense up to the task

October 29, 2010 | 11:03 pm

It's hard to believe that before last fall, Anaheim Servite had gone 20 years without beating Santa Ana Mater Dei. Now, the Friars have won two straight against their archrivals, thanks to a 21-14 victory tonight at Angel Stadium that kept them in first place in the Trinity League.

Servite's opportunistic defense set the tone from the outset. On Mater Dei's first play from scrimmage, USC-bound quarterback Max Wittek threw over the middle--right into the waiting arms of linebacker Matthew Inman, who returned it to the Monarchs' 28-yard line.

On Mater Dei's third possession, Wittek threw behind running back Corbin Anderson on a swing pass and defensive lineman Troy Niklas intercepted it and rumbled 26 yards untouched for the game's first score.

In the third quarter, Servite defensive back Karlton Dennis jumped in front of USC-bound wide receiver Victor Blackwell and came down with the ball on a long pass at the Friars' 25-yard line.

On Mater Dei's next possession, Inman was in the right place at the right time again, picking off Wittek in the flat at Servite's 48-yard line and returning it all the way to the Monarchs' 12.

Only Niklas' interception directly led to points for the Friars, but the four takeaways allowed Servite to win the field position battle and give its own offense several more possessions--and isn't that the best defense of all?

-- Steve Galluzzo