Sports: It’s That Time Of The Year Again!
by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor
The Braves are ready to take the field in Santa Ana to once again assert their dominance as the best high school football team in the nation.
Since 2014, there hasn’t been a bigger high school football rivalry in the region, state and country then St. John Bosco and team in red from Orange County.
The two national powers have met 10 times in that span and it’s been either to decide a Trinity League, Southern Section or Southern California regional title.
All eyes, computer screens, binoculars, smart phones and TV cameras will be focused on Santa Ana Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday when both powerhouses tangle to unofficially decide which is the best team not only in Southern California, but also the state and perhaps even the nation.
The two national elites have been sparring, jabbing and throwing haymakers since 2016 to officially decide the Southern Section’s Division I champion, which has parlayed into national ramifications, rankings and even championships.
In their last 10 contests, each has won five times. The cumulative score in those games: St. John Bosco 295, Orange County team 287.
The top two ranked teams in the Golden State have been pegged also among the top five squads in the country the last five years and would have been once more in 2020 had the season not been postponed to the spring due to the pandemic.
With no league, section or state playoffs offered, and Saturday being the last date football teams are allowed to play in the Southern Section, Bosco versus team in red is billed as the unofficial state championship. The Orange County team is No. 1 in the state according to MaxPreps Top 25 California rankings while St. John Bosco is No. 2.
Last week Pierce Clarkson threw touchdown passes on his first three throws and St. John Bosco scored six touchdowns on its first 22 offensive plays in what would end up being a dominating victory over the visiting Orange Lutheran by a score of 55-0.
Clarkson, a sophomore, completed 5 of 6 passes for 130 yards, junior Katin Houser hit on 7 of 9 for 158 yards and another score, and nine ballcarriers ran for 255 yards as Bosco (5-0 overall, 4-0 Trinity) amassed 542 yards including 382 in the first half and 476 by the end of the third quarter.
Bosco went into half-time leading 48-0 and would then let loose the reserves for the whole second half of the game.
Meanwhile, the opponent for Saturday consisted of freshman quarterback Elijah Brown throwing for four first-half touchdowns and running back Raleek Brown rushed for two scores as they headlined a 49-13 victory against No. 4 Santa Margarita at Santa Ana Stadium.
All hell is going to break lose in Santa Ana and normally more than 5,000 fans would jam into Santa Ana Stadium, but only a little more than 1,000 will be allowed in the stadium for Saturday’s game due to social distancing precautions.