Mater Dei Catholic defeats the Helix Highlanders to advance to the CIF 2-AA State Championship game. 

On Friday night in Chula Vista, the Crusaders fought their way to a 24-21 victory over Helix High in an intense match-up between two south San Diego giants. The game came down to the wire, where every play was crucial throughout the game. 

Esteban Murillo is part of the coaching staff at Mater Dei, and he is not surprised at how close of a fight it was Friday night. 

“You don’t play a team of the caliber of Helix and expect a blowout. This week’s motto was to prepare for a dogfight, and what is exactly what we got,” said Murillo. 

Helix’s running back Christian Washington had an outstanding game with 191 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the night. However, that wasn’t enough to put an end to the Crusader’s undefeated season. 

Next Friday evening is for all the marbles against Central Catholic (Modesto), where the 2-AA State Championship is on the line at Saddleback College. The Crusaders are on a mission to the end season with a perfect 13-0 record, and they know this will be the toughest match-up of all year. 

“Central Catholic didn’t get to the finals by accident. This team is legit, and it will be our biggest test of the year, no doubt. One thing I can guarantee to you, is that Mater Dei is up for the challenge,” says coach Esteban Murillo.

The Crusaders plan to approach this State Championship game with the same attitude they’ve had all year, an attitude coach Murillo takes pride in. 

“We have seen every obstacle imaginable this year but here we are, unfazed. There is a believe in this team that we won’t be shaken and won’t be denied. Mater Dei is for real, and we just proved it last night,” Murillo added. 

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