Mater Dei football coach Bruce Rollinson has advised his players on how to approach an important aspect of their showdown against Bishop Gorman on Friday night.
The nationally-recognized program from Las Vegas is known, in part, for its physical play at the line of scrimmage.
“I told the kids,” Rollinson said, “it’s going to be a 48-minute battle, so you might as well go ahead and throw the first (blow) and see where the hell it’s going to go. … It’s going to be physical.”
Mater Dei’s best chance to establish an advantage physically lies in its massive and experienced offensive line.
While the duel between USC-committed quarterback JT Daniels of Mater Dei and UCLA-pledge Dorian Thompson-Robinson of Bishop Gorman is enticing, how the Monarchs’ offensive line plays could ultimately decide the outcome at Santa Ana Stadium.
Will the unit be able to protect Daniels and open running lanes for Shakobe Harper and rising sophomore Chris Street?
Mater Dei, ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today and MaxPreps, hopes its offensive line answers that question affirmatively.
The group returns four starters who have been steadily gaining experience for three seasons.
Tommy Brown (6-7, 315) anchors the line from left tackle. The Alabama commit teams with fellow seniors Chris Murray (6-3, 295) at right guard, Kekani Gonzalez (6-2, 295) at center and Mason Kolinchak (6-2, 260) at left guard. Rising sophomore Myles Murao (6-3, 275) plays right tackle and teams with the highly-recruited Murray to balance the side opposite of Brown.
“What I love about our offensive line is they’ve played together for three years,” Rollinson said. “There’s not a whole lot that’s going to get them confused. … They can just pretty much look at each other and know who’s blocking who and how to make the adjustments.
“I have utmost confidence in those guys and that’s what is getting me…