Video: Previewing No. 1 St. John Bosco vs. No. 2 Mater DeiMaxPreps Football Editor Zack Poff breaks down the biggest game of the 2018 regular season.
Get your popcorn ready.
It is No. 1 vs. No. 2 for the eighth time in MaxPreps history in a huge Trinity League showdown Friday night. St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
vs. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
The game features over 40 players with FBS offers and 47 rated as 3-star recruits or higher. Bosco 26 of those with one 5-star prospect. Mater Dei counters with 21 including three 5-stars.
The top two quarterbacks from the Class of 2020 will be involved in the showdown. Bosco's D.J. Uiagalelei
is the No. 1 pro-style QB prospect and checks in as the fifth-rated player overall among juniors. Mater Dei's Bryce Young
, a USC pledge, is the top-rated dual-threat QB and No. 25 overall.
Uiagalelei has thrown for 1,570 yards and has 23 touchdowns against only two interceptions. The 5-star gunslinger is also completing nearly 75 percent of his passes and has 146 yards rushing and two scores.
Young has nearly 1,800 yards passing and 21 touchdowns against only three interceptions. The future Trojan is completing 77 percent of his passes and has 182 yards rushing and four scores.
There will be a ton of talent at the skill positions led by Mater Dei's
. He is the top-rated athlete from the Class of 2019 for a reason. Nobody impacts the game on both sides of the ball quite like he does. He leads the Monarchs in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and sacks.
Bosco features one of the most well-balanced offenses in the country. George Holani
and Keith Savage
have combined for 1,000 scrimmage yards and 19 touchdowns. Uiagalelei has six reliable targets to get the rock to in 2020 USC commit Kris Hutson
, 2019 Stanford commit Colby Bowman
, 2019 USC commit Jude Wolfe
, 3-star athlete Jake Bailey
, Tyus Poyer
and Beaux Collins
Both teams are loaded on defense, too, and with Mater Dei it all starts with its secondary. The "Shark Gang" has been dominating all season long. Elias Ricks
has shown why he's the top-rated cornerback from the Class of 2020. He has four interceptions and has taken three of them back to the house. 2020 Oklahoma commit Darion Green-Warren
, 2019 Oregon commit Jeremiah Criddell
, 3-star William Nimmo
and 2021 prospect Jaylin Davies
help fill out the back end for the Monarchs.
McCoy, 2019 Oregon commit Keyon Ware-Hudson
, 2019 Oregon State commit Evan Bennett
, Steele Dubar
, and a couple of 3-star 2020 linebackers — Kobah Fuamatu
and Moses Sepulona
— help give Mater Dei one of the best front sevens in California.
The Braves have a ton of depth in their front seven led by Cole Aubrey
. The 3-star defensive end has had 20 sacks in his last 16 games and is joined by 3-star Kobe Pepe
, 2019 Colorado commit Na'im Rodman
and 2019 Oregon commit Sua'ava Poti
in the trenches. Ralen Goforth
, 2019 Wisconsin commit Spencer Lytle
and Kourt Williams II
give Bosco a big-time trio of linebackers.
The secondary is loaded with future FBS players led by 2019 USC commit Chris Steele
. Trent McDuffie
, a 4-star cornerback, 2019 Colorado commit Titus Toler
, 3-star Jake Newman
and 3-star Jon Jon Vaughns
give the No. 1 team in the country one of the most talented secondaries.
The game could come down to which offensive line performs better. Both have two of the best in the state. Mater Dei is led by 4-star Myles Murao
, one of the top prospects from the Class of 2020, and St. John Bosco is led by 2019 Utah commit Marist Talavou
Always must-watch television, this will be the first meeting between the rivals as the top two teams in the country. This marks the 17th time they have met since 2004 with Mater Dei owning a 9-7 series lead. The Monarchs swept the season series in 2017 and left a bad taste in Bosco's mouth with a dominant 49-24 win to claim the CIF Southern Section Division I championship.
The winner of this one at the Santa Ana Bowl on Friday night will most likely claim the No. 1 spot in every high school football poll though the book isn't closed on the rivalry in 2018. It's well within the realm of possibility that the two meet again Thanksgiving weekend for the section championship with a spot in the CIF Open Division state title game on the line.