- Tyler Harden
Mater Dei gets revenge and defeats St. John Bosco for Trinity League Championship
Photo Credit: Orange County Register
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA— The Mater Dei Monarchs and the St. John Bosco Braves are two of the best teams not only in Southern California, but the entire country. What is unique about the two teams, however, is that they are in the same conference. The Mater Dei-St. John Bosco rivalry is arguably one of the most anticipated rivalries in the country. With more than 50 Division 1 players on the field, this year was no different. Both teams came in as usual, undefeated, and the winner will take the Trinity League title. Last season, St. John Bosco beat Mater Dei when it mattered most, in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 Championship. This year, with no postseason, Mater Dei had no opportunity to get revenge in the playoffs. But as long as St. John Bosco was on their schedule, that was all they needed to get revenge.
The Monarchs were first to put points on the board in the first quarter. After St. John Bosco was forced to punt on their first possession, Mater Dei took advantage, as quarterback, Elijah Brown, found CJ Williams for a 12-yard touchdown (PAT good). But St. John Bosco came right back with an answer. Running back, Jabari Bates, found room to run for a 66-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7 (PAT good). Mater Dei was forced to punt on their next possession, and St. John Bosco went right back to work. Quarterback, Pierce Clarkson, found big, tight end, Matayo Uiagalelei, for a 26-yard touchdown to take a 14-7 lead to end the first quarter (PAT good).
Mater Dei started off hot to start the second quarter, however, as Elijah Brown found CJ Williams once again for a 26-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 (PAT good). The Monarchs kept going after forcing St. John Bosco to punt. Brown found Kyron Ware-Hudson, who is signed with USC, for a 64-yard touchdown to take a 21-14 lead (PAT good).
The Braves wouldn’t go away, as they marched down the field on their next possession all the way inside the Mater Dei 20-yard line. But St. John Bosco was forced to settle for a field goal attempt, but missed it and turned the ball over to the Monarchs. Mater Dei kicker, Chase Meyer then kicked a 38-yard field goal on their next drive to take a 24-14 lead. The Monarch defense then made some noise, as an interception by cornerback, Shoes Brinkley, on their own 20-yard line brought them to halftime with a 24-14 lead.
St. John Bosco started the second half with a 37-yard field goal by Andre Meono to make the score 27-14. But the Mater Dei offense went right back to work, as they marched down the field inside the St. John Bosco 20-yard line. Elijah Brown then found Josiah Zamora for an 8-yard touchdown to extend their lead to 31-17 (PAT good). After the Braves made some noise, and advanced into the Mater Dei 20-yard line, the third quarter ended with Mater Dei up 31-17.
St. John Bosco quarterback, Katin Houser, was on his way to score a touchdown to start the fourth quarter. But Mater Dei defensive back, Quincy Craig, stripped the football from Houser’s hands, and defensive lineman, Jacob Kongaika fell on it in the end zone for a touchback to give Mater Dei the ball back. If any hopes of a comeback for St. John Bosco were still alive after that play, they for sure ended after Mater Dei cornerback, Domani Jackson, intercepted a pass on the St. John Bosco 27-yard line. After Chase Meyer kicked another field goal for Mater Dei to make the score 34-17, the game came to a close, and Mater Dei got their revenge with a 34-17 win over St. John Bosco.
Mater Dei ends their unexpected high school football season in a very familiar way, undefeated, this time at 5-0. With many elite players returning for the Monarchs, it’s no doubt that they will be near the top of the high school football team rankings to start the 2021-22 season. St. John Bosco will also be in that category, as they also are returning many elite players. But as the Braves end their season at 4-1, they will be the ones looking for revenge next season.