Video: St. John Bosco wins section title
Zack Poff breaks down what's next for the Braves.
For the second week in a row, the St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
football team earned the revenge it sought, this time by defeating Mater Dei 42-28 in the Southern Section Division I championship game Saturday.
The Braves, No. 8 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Football Rankings presented by the Army National Guard, lost to the third-ranked Monarchs 26-21 in an October Trinity League clash. But they made up for it in a big way and now will likely face De La Salle (Concord) in the CIF Open Division Bowl Game Dec. 17 at Sacramento State University.
That decision will be made final Sunday by the California Interscholastic Federation commissioners. See the live scoring from the game
Just like what happened when the teams met in the regular season, Mater Dei fought back from a deficit in the second half. What was different was that the Braves didn’t let it slip away.
"I'm really excited for our kids," SJB Jason Negro said after the game during the trophy ceremony. "They played a heck of a game. We got some tough kids. We think we're one of the elite programs in the country and they wanted to show that tonight."
The Braves built a 35-14 lead in the third quarter only to see the Monarchs battle back for a score on a 22-yard scoring pass from J.T. Daniels
to C.J. Parks
. Then came a pivotal fourth-down at Bosco’s own 39 where the Braves went for it and gave a chance for Mater Dei to get back in the game.
The Braves converted the fourth-down play with 8:12 left in the game and then recovered a fumble on that same play after the first down was gained. That gave them the chance to run a few more minutes off the clock before punting the ball away.
Then came the dagger. Stephan Blaylock
picked off an ill-advised Daniels pass and that gave Bosco the chance to put the game away by running off some more clock and Re-al Mitchell
took it in himself on a third down play with 3:05 left.
Daniels started the scoring with a 2-yard run in the first quarter before the Braves answered back with a 1-yard score from Demetrious Flowers
. Terrance Beasley
then scored from 24 yards out for St. John Bosco and Mitchell made it 21-7 with a 13-yard scoring run of his own.Amon-Ra St. Brown
hauled in a 49-yard scoring pass late in the second quarter to make it 21-14 Bosco heading into the halftime break. And the Monarchs got a score with 1:40 left from Shakobe Harper
to soften the margin on the final score.
Last week, Bosco (12-2) scored a 49-47 win over then-No. 15 Centennial (Corona), which ended its 2015 season in the Southern Section finals. But on Saturday, Bosco spoiled a perfect season for Mater Dei (13-1), which was trying to earn a spot in its first Bowl game and win its first section championship since 1999.
Mitchell had his best statistical game of
the season last week against Centennial. The three-star dual-threat
prospect passed for a season-high 287 yards, ran for 116 yards, and
accounted for four touchdowns.
On Saturday, Mitchell didn't have to do much but hand the ball over to Flowers and Beasley, who combined for 277 yards rushing and three touchdowns. The offensive line, led by preseason All-American Wyatt Davis, controlled the trenches and Beasley (26 carries, 177 yards) and Flowers (17-100) did the rest.
"Our line and blocking won this game for us," Mitchell told the FS1 audience after the game. "We worked our tail off to prepare for this game. All that work paid off."
Bosco dominated the ball with a 32:21 to 15:39 edge in time of possession and edge in rushing yards (382-102) and total yards (456-353). They also forced three turnovers that they turned into 14 points and turned it over just once themselves.