RECAP: St. John Bosco 41, Mater Dei 18

by Ethan Piechota

The St. John Bosco Braves defeated the Mater Dei Monarchs 41-18 last night at the Santa Ana Bowl, making it clear to everyone who the top team in the nation is for high school football.

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Jake Bailey celebrates one of his three touchdown catches on the night. Credit // EC Sabin

If there was any dispute over who’s the clear number one team in America, it’s now settled.

It was a total beatdown from start to finish from the Braves, clearly outplaying the Monarchs in all three phases of the game.

Mater Dei’s weak pass defense was no match for Bosco five-star quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, who went 15/21 for 278 yards and FIVE touchdowns. Uiagalelei made it clear who was the best quarterback on the field last night, and maybe even in high school football.

Bosco’s offensive line came in and kept him clean as well, doing an excellent job of containing defensive end Bru McCoy amongst others.

The Braves started the game with a perfectly-executed, balanced drive that culminated with Uiagalelei throwing a 10-yard touchdown strike to star senior receiver Jake Bailey. Bailey was a star on the night for the Braves, catching six passes for 161 yards and THREE touchdowns (offer that man please).

Mater Dei would answer back on the next drive, with McCoy catching a screen pass for 39 yards and quarterback Bryce Young scrambling for 48 yards to set the Monarchs up at the 5-yard line. However, Bosco’s defense made a great goal line stand, ending with defensive back Kourt Williams II sacking Young to force Mater Dei into a field goal try.

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Williams sacks Young. Credit // EC Sabin

Right away, the Braves high-powered offense answered back, as Uiagalelei threw a 24-yard touchdown to wide receiver Kris Hutson, giving the Braves a 13-3 lead after a missed extra point.

Still in the first quarter, Young drove his team down the field and threw a 8-yard touchdown pass to McCoy, trimming Bosco’s lead to 13-10.

But this was the last time Mater Dei’s supposed highly-skilled offense would be heard from, as Bosco’s defense shut down Young and company for the rest of the half, and really, until the fourth quarter.

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Bailey with his third touchdown catch on the night. Credit // EC Sabin

Uiagalelei threw touchdowns on back-to-back drives to Bailey and star running back George Holani, as Bosco took a 27-10 lead into halftime.

 

Both teams drew a standstill for the third quarter, but Holani opened up the fourth with an electrifying 75-yard run, something we’ve seen so often from him this year. He finished the game with 12 carries for 118 yards, matching his 9.8 yards per carry average on the season.

In a final effort, Mater Dei put together a touchdown drive with a Young pass to tight end Mike Martinez for a 20-yard touchdown, and a following two-point conversion to him.

But from there, Bosco capped off the night with a Uiagalelei touchdown strike to Jake Bailey again for 30 yards, increasing their lead to 41-18.

Bosco would hold on to win the game 41-18 as well, proving to everyone who the number one team in the nation is. Head coach Jason Negro’s record is now 8-4 all-time against Mater Dei since his arrival at Bosco.

“I thought we did a great job tackling in space,” Negro said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “The mentality of this football team is next level.”

The Tribe showed out as well last night, providing an excellent boost from the sidelines all night with constant cheers and noise towards the Mater Dei players.

The Braves continue their national championship quest next Friday, taking on Santa Margarita in an away game.

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