SoCal Prep Legends Game of the Week: No. 3 St. John Bosco vs. No. 2 Mater Dei

Bosco’s Berkeley Holman returns a punt return for a long gain in Norwalk on Friday, October 7, 2016. St. John Bosco vs Servite in a Trinity League football game. 1st half. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG)
Bosco’s Berkeley Holman returns a punt return for a long gain in Norwalk on Friday, October 7, 2016. St. John Bosco vs Servite in a Trinity League football game. 1st half. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG)

SoCal Prep Legends Game of the Week:
No. 3 St. John Bosco (6-1, 2-0) vs. No. 2 Mater Dei (7-0, 2-0)

Long Beach Press-Telegram Preview

by JJ Fiddler & Mike Guardabascio 

SCPL-ranked No. 3 St. John Bosco vs. No. 2 Mater Dei at Cerritos College, 7:30 p.m.: It is the most anticipated game of the regular season. Both teams are ranked in the Top 5 in California and Top 10 in national polls and it has CIF Southern Section playoff implications. But first and foremost it will decide the Trinity League title. Bosco (6-1, 2-0) is four-time reigning league champions and is on a 23-game league winning streak. The Monarchs (7-0, 2-0) had won 19 of the first 23 meetings, but Bosco has won the last six, including a playoff win in 2013.

VIDEO: St. John Bosco-Mater Dei Preview (Press-Telegram)

“They look like the 2015 St. John Bosco team,” Bosco seventh-year coach Jason Negro said of Mater Dei. Bosco fell in the CIF-SS Pac-5 championship game last year.

“(Mater Dei) can score from anywhere on the field, they don’t give up the big plays, they’re well coached and they’re winning with ease,” Negro said. “So hopefully we play as well as we have against them in the recent past.”

The Monarchs, ranked No. 1 in CIF-SS Division 1, have beaten their opponents by a combined score of 396-49 and are averaging 484 offensive yards per game. Sophomore quarterback JT Daniels is averaging 377 passing yards while completing 80 percent of his passes. His favorite targets are the St. Brown brothers. Junior Amon-Ra St. Brown leads Mater Dei with 32 catches and 14 touchdowns. Senior Osiris St. Brown leads with 647 total yards, a 108 yard per game average.

“We’ve been looking forward to this game for awhile,” Bosco junior quarterback Re-al Mitchell said. “Mater Dei is the best team in the league, but we feel confident.”

Mitchell is averaging 249 yards of total offense per game and has scored 21 touchdowns. Bosco, No. 3 in Division 1 is averaging 7.9 yards per carry and can use its ground attack to keep the ball away from Mater Dei.

Orange County Register Preview

by Steve Fyer

Mater Dei vs. St. John Bosco is the game of the week, obviously.

It’s the game of the year, too.

A full-house can be expected for their Trinity League game at Cerritos College on Friday.

VIDEO: St. John Bosco-Mater Dei Preview (OC Register)

Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson said the Braves “have certain advantages,” including along the offensive and defensive lines.

“They win the size battle up front on both sides of the ball,” Rollinson said. “And we have our advantages.”

Mater Dei’s advantages won’t mean much if the Monarchs have a penalty-plagued performance like they did in last week’s 56-14 win over Orange Lutheran. They were penalized 10 times for 101 yards.

No team, even a team with the offensive firepower of Mater Dei, is going to thrive when its offense has a first-and-15 or a second-and-20 possession after possession against the likes of St. John Bosco.

“We have to eliminate the penalties,” Rollinson said. “And games like these can come down to turnovers. We’ve got to create some for ourselves and we can’t give them to St. John Bosco because their offense is too volatile.”

Mater Dei is No. 2 and St. John Bosco is No. 10 in USA Today’s national rankings. CalHiSports.com’s California top 25 last week had St. John Bosco at No. 2, behind Centennial of Corona, and Mater Dei at No. 3.

TICKETS UPDATE 

Mater Dei will begin selling tickets Wednesday for Friday night’s game.

Tickets will be available at the school’s athletics ticket window Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The transactions will be cash only.

Prices are $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens (65 and older) and $3 for children (ages 5-14). Children aged 4 and younger are admitted free. Mater Dei and St. John Bosco students are admitted free with valid student identification.

The game, which will start at 7:30 p.m., will be televised live by Prime Ticket.