- Tyler Harden
St. John Bosco holds off East St. Louis in West Coast vs. Midwest matchup
Photo Credit: TruChampions (@tru_champions)
BELLFLOWER, CALIFORNIA— The St. John Bosco Braves are consistently in the National High School Football Spotlight not only because they have some of the best players in the country, but because they also take on some of the other best teams in the country that have some of the country’s best players. This week was no different, as the Braves would host East St. Louis from Illinois, who have the number-2 wide receiver in the country (via 247sports), Luther Burden. The Flyers made the 1,800 mile trip to take on St. John Bosco just like many other teams from different parts of the country had in the past, because they believed they had a team that could take on the Braves, or even beat them. Of course St. John Bosco wanted the challenge, and yet again, they only backed up all the hype around them.
While the Flyers couldn’t get the offense going in the first quarter, the defense made things interesting. They held St. John Bosco to zero points as well, ending the quarter with neither team putting points on the board. That all changed at the start of the second quarter, however, as St. John Bosco quarterback, Pierce Clarkson, ran for a 51-yard touchdown, finally putting the Braves on the board with a 7-0 lead (PAT good).
The Braves kept their momentum alive on their next drive, as Chedon James took a handoff and ran in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown (PAT good). After East St. Louis was forced to punt, Pierce Clarkson made an impact once again with a 10-yard touchdown, putting the Braves up 21-0 (PAT good). East St. Louis found a spark on offense, however, as they advanced inside the St. John Bosco 30-yard line. But a big sack by the Braves led the Flyers to turn over the ball on downs at the Braves’ 41-yard line going into halftime.
St. John Bosco started the second half looking like one of the best teams in the country, as running back, Rayshon Luke, ran for a 60-yard touchdown to put the Braves up 28-0 (PAT good). They kept their foot on the gas after another East St. Louis punt. Tayvion Beasley completed a pass to tight end, Matayo Uiagalelei, and he stiff armed his way for a 12-yard touchdown, making the score 35-0 (PAT good).
East St. Louis wouldn’t lay down, however, as the Flyers went down the field, and quarterback, Robert Battle, threw for a 30-yard touchdown to Luther Burden make the score 35-6 (2-point conversion failed). Burden showed why he’s one the best receivers in the country on the Flyers’ punt return; he ran down the field for a 70-yard touchdown on the return, and the Flyers were starting to catch up with the score 35-12 (2-point conversion failed).
The Flyers defense and special teams started to come up big shortly after, as the defense recovered a fumble with great field position at the St. John Bosco 13-yard line. In addition, after the Braves were forced to punt on their next drive, East St. Louis blocked the punt, and recovered at the St. John Bosco 14-yard line. This brought an end to the third quarter with the Braves in the lead 35-12.
East St. Louis was first to end the drought after both teams couldn’t get a productive drive going. The Flyers recovered a fumble, and returned it for a 1-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 35-18 (2-point conversion failed). After the Braves were forced to punt once again, quarterback, Ryan Boyd, was able to find Luther Burden for an 18-yard touchdown, making the score 35-26 (2-point conversion good). Burden, who was previously committed to the University of Oklahoma, is the number-6 player in the country (via 247sports), and currently holds 39 scholarship offers.
But St. John Bosco put East St. Louis’s comeback hopes to bed when Pierce Clarkson found Logan Booher for an 86-yard touchdown, extending their lead to 42-26 (PAT good). But East St. Louis still wanted to make the final minutes interesting, as they advanced down the field inside the Braves’ 20-yard line. The Flyers couldn’t get in the end zone, however, and were forced to turn the ball over on downs. St. John Bosco ran out the clock from there, and added another impressive out-of-state victory to their resume this season.
St. John Bosco improves to 4-0 on the season, and undoubtedly remains one of the top teams in the country yet again. The Braves will make a cross country road trip next week to take on Oscar Smith out of Chesapeake, Virginia on Friday, September 17th, at 7 PM ET (4 PM PT). East St. Louis suffers their first loss of the season, and falls to 2-1. They head back home to take on Belleville East next week on Saturday, September 18th, at 2 PM ET (1 PM CT).