PREVIEW: St. John Bosco @ San Clemente
by Ethan Piechota
Following a 49-0 beatdown of Serra in round one of the 2018 CIF Division 1 Southern Section playoffs, the St. John Bosco Braves will travel to take on San Clemente High School this Friday.
The St. John Bosco Braves are the clear number one team for high school football in America. This season, they’ve faced very little competition in many matchups, but the road gets harder from this point on.
Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has been unbelievable all season for the Braves, currently posting a ridiculous 38 touchdowns to just two interceptions on the year over 2610 yards.
St. John Bosco running back George Holani has been a workhorse all year as well, posting a 9.3 average in yards per carry and scoring a total of 21 times. Receivers Kris Hutson, Jake Bailey, Colby Bowman, and Jude Wolfe have been huge all year as well, collectively combining for 31 of Uiagalelei’s 38 total passing touchdowns.
Bosco’s defense, led by recent All-American Bowl commits and cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and Chris Steele have shut down teams all year, and will look to continue that throughout the postseason.
The San Clemente Tritons are easily one of the hottest football teams in Southern California, especially after a very lackluster 1-4 start. Since that tough start, the Tritons have won six straight games, including last week’s 49-26 victory over Murrieta Valley in round one of the playoffs.
Back on September 7th of this year, San Clemente lost to Murrieta Valley 55-38, showing their much-apparent improvement over the last few months.
The Tritons statement win came against league rival Mission Viejo, when they defeated the Diablos 21-20 in an extreme grind-it-out game to wrap up their perfect 4-0 league record.
On paper, the Braves are clearly the more skilled team and are more physically-gifted then the Tritons. Even with Bosco’s long road trip and the pressure of a playoff game, it’s going to be extremely hard for San Clemente to win this game.
The combination of the Braves high-powered and explosive offense and lockdown defense should make this a game decided early on. However, at this point in the year, no team can be overlooked. One bad game sends you home.
If the Braves do return to Bellflower victorious after Friday night, they’ll take on the winner of league rival JSerra and highly-ranked Oaks Christian in the semifinals at Cerritos College.
However, one game at a time. The Braves will look to get the job done this Friday and continue their state and national championship push.