Video: Preview of Mater Dei-St. John Bosco
Inside look at all the key players from two national powers which faced off last month.
Some would argue quite vehemently that CIF Southern Section's Division 1 football tournament, out of Southern California, is the toughest in the country.
With four ranked among the top 17 teams in the country, others may argue it is the toughest bracket ever assembled nationally. The Southern Section just released the 16-team bracket.
On one side of the bracket is the No. 1 team Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
(10-0) and No. 17 Mission Viejo
(9-0). On the other side is fifth-ranked Centennial (Corona)
(8-1) and No. 7 St. John Bosco (Bellflower)
(8-2). See entire bracket
It doesn't stop there.
Other dangerous teams ranked high in the state: Long Beach Poly
(8-2), Chaminade (West Hills)
(9-1), Murrieta Valley (Murrieta)
(8-2), Rancho Cucamonga
(10-1) and San Clemente
(9-1). Other teams in the bracket ranked among the state's Top 25: Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita)
(7-3), JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano)
(7-3), Serra (Gardena)
(6-4) and Bishop Amat (La Puente)
All of the above are ranked among the top 220 in the country.
What makes the tournament even more intriguing is that only one team will advance to the CIF State Bowl Game tournament. Last year, it was St. John Bosco, which beat Mater Dei 42-28 in the Pac-5 finals after losing to the same squad 26-21 during the regular season. Bosco went on to soundly defeat De La Salle (Concord) 56-33 in the state Open finals.
In 2017, Mater Dei defeated St. John Bosco 31-21 on Oct. 13.