Football

Mater Dei’s JT Daniels answers critics with improved running ability

Mater Dei quarterback JT Daniels in Santa Ana on Thursday, December 7, 2017. Daniels will lead the Monarchs in the upcoming CIF State Championship game against De La Salle High School. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Mater Dei quarterback JT Daniels in Santa Ana on Thursday, December 7, 2017. Daniels will lead the Monarchs in the upcoming CIF State Championship game against De La Salle High School. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

SANTA ANA – JT Daniels quickly selects his favorite running play. It’s almost as if the highlight flashes on a continuous loop in his mind. But the result sprung from his heart long before the third-and-long in mid-October.

It is late in the third quarter for the quarterback and Mater Dei in its season opener against St. John Bosco. The Monarchs hold a slight lead when Daniels steps up in the pocket to avoid the pass rush on third-and-10. In a flash, he accelerates past a linebacker near the line of scrimmage. The dash is on.

With the ball tucked in his right arm, Daniels’ left arm pumps high toward his chest with the form of a track sprinter. He races past a defensive back on a direct path toward the end zone.

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