Sports: The Braves Face Nationally-Ranked Friars in a Season-Defining Matchup
by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor
Following a brilliant performance last week, St. John Bosco enters one of the toughest contests of the year against Servite, with national rankings, pride and second place on the line.
This game will prove to be important for playoff seeding, as both teams are looking for an easier route to the state championship. Both teams are coming into the matchup 8-1 overall and 3-1 in League Play. This matchup will most certainly be a nail-biter as both teams have looked extremely sharp coming into this game. Servite is currently ranked second in California and fifth nationally according to MaxPreps, with Bosco being ranked third and fourth respectively.
Bosco has had continuous success with both of their quarterbacks this season, and will once again look to lean on them for support. Both quarterbacks put up impressive stat lines last game, as Katin Houser completed seven of twelve. including a touchdown, while Pierce Clarkson completed nine of eleven, providing two touchdowns. With that in mind, it seems as though both quarterbacks are finding their rhythm, and will both need to be playing at their highest level in order to top Servite.
This will be a make-or-break game for both teams, as both teams are in desperate need of a victory in this matchup in order to be set up for a solid playoff run. Furthermore, the losing team will drop to third place in the Trinity League, where Bosco has not finished since 2011. Though this will not be an easy game for either team, as it seems both teams are playing the best football they have all season.
Servite is coming off of a heartbreaking loss to “The Team in Red,” with the final score being 46-37, and will look to bounce back from that loss with a vital win against the Braves. After playing extremely well last game, it appears that Servite is playing some of the best football they have played in years.
Not only will the offense have to show up to the game, but the defenses must be playing at their best capabilities in order to give the Braves’ the best chance of winning. Last week, Servite controlled the ball most of the game against “The Team in Red.” If the Braves are able to incorporate longer drives, draining out the clock while holding onto the ball, their defense will have the best opportunity to get the stops the team is looking for.
Servite has not defeated St. John Bosco since 2011. However, the last two contests have resulted in heartbreaking losses for the Friars. Also, this is not the same Servite team, as their young talent from previous years matured into brilliant players, making the team one of the best the school has ever seen.
With the game being at home, the Tribe, Bosco’s student section, will undoubtedly be as loud as ever, and the home-field advantage will definitely play a factor in the outcome of the game. In what will be one of the most challenging games for the Braves this year, the team will be looking to do everything in their power to come out of the match with a win.