SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS
Updated 11:45 p.m.: Check back for quotes and more information from this game
CARSON, Calif. —
Throughout the week, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
fourth-year coach Jason Negro described De La Salle's blend of talent, coaching and tradition as the perfect storm.
But blessed with a lightning quick tailback, polished quarterback and massive, active linemen himself, Negro's Braves had the perfect ingredients to dethrone the four-time defending state Open Division champions and perennial national power De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
Saturday with a 20-14 victory Saturday at StubHub Center. See more indelible images from gameJosh Rosen
fired touchdown passes of 60 and 7 yards to Jaleel Wadood
and Sean McGrew
rushed for 143 yards as Bosco broke De La Salle's 40-game win streak and captured California's Open Division title. It was sealed by an interception by Gavin Windes
on a fourth-down screen pass around the Bosco 35-yard line with just more than two minutes left in the game. De La Salle was down six points and driving hard for perhaps the winning score when Windes faded back and tipped the screen pass to himself.
It was a smart and athletic play, one which typified Bosco's effort. Better yet, it was Windes only play of the game. He had no tackles.
"I saw (quarterback Chris Williams) peaking at me so I stopped and backed up," said Windes, a 6-foot-1, 203-pound junior. "I guess you's day I sniffed it out.
"To stop De La Salle's reign is unbelievable."
The Braves ran out the clock after Windes' interception, setting off a wild and loud celebration on the field and among the more than 12,000 estimated largely-pro Bosco fans. The total attendance for the day was 16,791, but the majority of those came late to watch this battle of national powers and to see if a Southern California squad had an answer for De La Salle, which had won four straight Open games, the last three by lopsided margins.
The Spartans made it a game when quarterback Chris Williams
hit Marquis Morris
with a 48-yard bomb with 6:27 left. The offense got another chance but the interception ended things, and the 2013 season across the season.
The monumental win was the last game played throughout the country and now Bosco will be considered as a mythical national champion. Beating the perennial national juggernaut sure will help the Braves' resume. They came in ranked third in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings and De La Salle was No. 4.
"To finish the last high school game in America like this. ... amazing," Negro said. "De La Salle has one of the most storied high school programs in any sport at any level and for our kids to play like this was awesome."
But Negro and his team was confident from the start.
"Frankly, we were tired all week hearing about De La Salle this and De La Salle that," Wadood said. "We knew if we did just what we were supposed to do we'd come out on top."
Much was made of line play coming in, especially at De La Salle which boasted one of, if not its best and biggest in school history. That definitely fired up 6-foot-5, 360-pound All American guard Damien Mama, whose offensive line allowed only one sack and gave Rosen ample time to throw.
McGrew, a 5-7, 170-pound speed merchant, had some gaping holes to run through as well. The Braves averaged 5.2 yards per rush.
"We knew we had to win the line of scrimmage," Mama said. "We took it sort of personal to be able to do that."
The Braves (16-0), who last week gave up more than 700 yards in a 70-49 Southern Regional Bowl victory over Centennial, this week shut down one of the nation's most prolific offenses, one that averaged 44 points and 450 yards per game.
Negro knew last week's totals were misleading, that Centennial gained most of its yards when Bosco had a four-touchdown advantage.
He was so confident in his defense that when the Braves won the toss Saturday, they deferred, which is something you don't often see against the Spartans, who finished with a meager 254 yards to 399 for Bosco.
"The Pac 5 (Southern Section's top division) is no joke," Negro said. "You win that and you got a shot here."
The move paid off, as De La Salle punted, and Bosco went 73 yards, keyed by four runs totaling 51 yards by McGrew, to take a 3-0 lead on a 35-yard field goal by Reid Budrovich
De La Salle lost second-leading rusher Antoine Custer
(1,141 yards, 15 TDs on the year) with an ankle injury, but it rattled off four first downs but a lateral was dropped before squirting back for a loss of 20. The Spartans eventually punted and the first quarter ended with Bosco up 3-0.
This was already a minor victory for the local team, as De La Salle opened up leads of 19-0, 14-0 and 21-0 the previous three years in bowl games.
Bosco made it 10-0 with 9:01 left in the half when Rosen, considered one of the top junior quarterbacks in the country, fired a beautiful 60-yard touchdown bomb to a wide open Wadood
in the middle of the field.
De La Salle has rarely been faced with a crucial situation, but it responded with a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive finished off on a fourth-and-1 play with an 11-yard burst off left tackle.
, who had eight carries on the drive, scored his 29th touchdown of the year. That made it 10-7 with 4:21 left in the half.
But Bosco matched it with an equally impressive drive, this one 73 yards on 12 plays finished off with another Rosen-to-Wadood touchdown pass, this one on a 7-yard slant with 29 seconds left in the half. Again Wadood was wide open.
Most of the damage on the drive again was done by the 5-foot-7, 170-pound McGrew, who finished the half with 12 carries for 92 yards. Rosen was 7 of 9 for 119 yards.
Velasco had 15 carries for 81 yards by halftime, but SJB owned the ball and a big yardage advantage 219-141.
Negro has quickly turned Bosco into a national power. Before he got to the Bellflower campus, the Braves had missed the playoffs seven straight years. De La Salle, meanwhile, came in with four straight Bowl championships, the last three particularly lopsided, by scores of 48-8, 35-0 and 48-28. All those games were basically over by halftime.
In this one, Bosco was the team in complete command.
This was the first season for head De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh, who took over for Bob Ladouceur, who stepped down after last year's Open Division victory against Centennial. Ladouceur is still in the program as the team's defensive line and running backs coach.
Alumbaugh was drained and somber afterward.
"We just made too many mistakes," he said. "We couldn't protect the quarterback a couple times when we needed to throw. That first half a couple of mistakes killed us.
"Our kids played hard, I don't have any doubt about that. We fought hard, we played hard. We just didn't play well. I liked the effort that we had. You just can't make mistakes against a team like that."
A team considered one of the best in Southern California history. De La Salle has beat most of them. Quite handily even. But Alumbaugh thinks Bosco is one of the best.
"They're up there," he said. "You can clump them in with a couple. That Long Beach Poly team. They're way up there for sure. Those guys are really, really good."
It definitely would have helped the Spartans to have Custer, the dynamic sophomore running back. But Bosco clearly won the point of attack. Rosen was rarely pressured and only sacked once late in the game. De La Salle averaged only 3.4 yards per rushing attempt. It came in averaging 9.0.
"He didn't even get a carry," Alumbaugh said of Custer. "We had a lot of things in the game plan designed specifically for him. We'd been putting it in for about a month. He's a dynamic talent. ... Taking him out put a little bit of a cog into our game plan but that's not the reason we lost."
They sure drew a big crowd - the biggest in state bowl history unofficially.
The game filled the lower bowl on Bosco's side and fans were still trying to pile in early in the second quarter. The crowd for the day was 16,791 with more than 12,000 estimated for the final game.
"I think we gave the crowd what they came to see," Mama said. "Our coaches gave us a great game plan and we executed. It's a perfect way to end my career and all of our seniors."
Said Wadood: "This is a game we'll remember for the rest of our lives." St. John Bosco 20, De La Salle 14
De La Salle 0 7 0 7 — 14
St. John Bosco 3 14 0 3 — 20First quarter
B — FG, Budrovich 35, 3:40Second quarter
B — Jaleel Wadood 60 pass from Josh Rosen (Budrovich), 9:01
DLS — John Velasco 10 run (Tyler Duncan kick), 4:21
B — Wadood 7 pass from Rosen (Budrovich kick), 0:29Fourth quarter
B — Budrovich 25, 8:48
DLS — Marquis Morris 49 pass from Chris Williams (Tyler Duncan), 6:27INDIVIDUAL STATISTICSRushing
DLS — John Velasco 21-93, Hernandez 12-57, Williams 11-26, Team 2-(-19). 46-157.
St. John Bosco — McGraw 24-143, Rosen 7-50, Wadood 1-8, Sims 2-3, Fields 1-(-2). Totals 38-222. Passing
Williams 6-14-2-97; Matt Robone 0-1-0-0.
B — Rosen 12-17-200-2-0. Receiving
De La Salle — Marquis Moore 2-55, Joe Gervolino 1-18, Devin Asiasi 1-11, Charlie Loudon 1-10, Velasco 1-3.
B — Wadood 5-113, Fields 5-58, Jared Harrell 1-23, McGrew 1-6.Tackles
DLS — Server 6, David Ortega 6, Kahlil McKenzie 6. B — Chandler Leniu 10, Malik Dorton 7. TEAM STATISTICSFirst downs:
De La Salle 17, Bosco 15Net yards rushing:
De La Salle 157, Bosco 199Net yards passing:
De La Salle 97, Bosco 200Total yards:
De La Salle 254, Bosco 399Fumbles/lost:
De La Salle 4/0, Bosco 2/0Penalities/yards: D
e La Salle 3/15, Bosco 11/101Turnovers:
De La Salle 2, Bosco 0Possession time:
De La Salle 25:03, Bosco 22:57Third down conversion:
De La Salle 2/12, Bosco 5/12Sacks/yards:
DLS 1/4, Bosco 1/4