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  • Tyler Harden

St. John Bosco opens season with massive win over Sierra Canyon

Photo Credit: Robert Gauthier (Los Angeles Times)

BELLFLOWER, CALIFORNIA— The high school football season in California has been anything but normal. However, it is completely normal that the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers and the St. John Bosco Braves are entering the season at two of the best teams in the state. Both teams had star players that forwent the 2021 spring season, but it’s safe to say that there is still an abundance of talent that made this matchup one of the most anticipated of the California High School Football season. While Sierra Canyon and St. John Bosco are two of the top teams in California, in order to be the best, you have to beat the best teams. St. John Bosco, who is the defending 2019 MaxPreps High School Football National Champions, only strengthened their case to become the best once again.

Sierra Canyon threw the first punch in this heavyweight matchup, as quarterback, Daniel Duran, found DJ Harvey, who is signed with Virginia Tech, for a 26-yard touchdown to put the Trailblazers up 7-0 (PAT good). The Braves had an answer, however, as the Braves marched down the field, and running back, Rayshon Luke, ran 17 yards into the end zone to tie the game at 7 (PAT good). The St. John Bosco defense then made an impact. On the Trailblazers next possession, St. John Bosco cornerback, Sione Hala, intercepted a pass, and gave the Braves the ball back on their own 35-yard line. The game was still tied at 7 at the end of the first quarter

The offense got going once again to start the second quarter, as Pierce Clarkson found Chedon James for a big gain to the Sierra Canyon 37-yard line. But Sierra Canyon halted their momentum, as the Trailblazers recovered a forced fumble by Sierra Canyon safety, Kamari Ramsey, at their own 23-yard line. After Sierra Canyon moved the ball into St. John Bosco territory, the Braves then recovered a fumble at their own 28-yard line. The Braves then ran down the field to the Sierra Canyon 20-yard line, and Michael Hayes capped off the drive with a 10-yard rushing touchdown to give St. John Bosco a 14-7 lead (PAT good).

After Sierra Canyon was forced to punt on their next possession, St. John Bosco took over at their own 46-yard line. The Braves run game, led by Michael Hayes and Rayshon Luke, led St. John Bosco inside the Sierra Canyon 20-yard line. Pierce Clarkson then ran for a 21-yard touchdown to extend the Braves’ lead to 21-7 (PAT good). Sierra Canyon started their next drive on their own 35-yard line, but the Braves defense remained strong and forced a three and out. However, a late hit on the Braves gave Sierra Canyon a first down. The Trailblazers then advanced inside the St. John Bosco 20-yard line, and Daniel Duran found tight end, Henry Deakins, for a 19-yard touchdown to bring Sierra Canyon within a touchdown going into halftime (PAT good).

St. John Bosco started the second half off at their own 25-yard line. After the Braves were faced with a 3rd down and 6, Pierce Clarkson found Matayo Uiagalelei for a 10-yard pickup and a first down. Rayshon Luke did the rest, running for a 67-yard touchdown to give the Braves a 28-14 lead (PAT good). Daniel Duran began Sierra Canyon’s next drive off with a completed pass to DJ Harvey to bring the Trailblazers to the 32-yard line. The Trailblazers were then brought to 4th down and 3. They decided to go for it, but couldn’t convert, and the Braves took over at their own 41-yard line.

Michael Hayes continued to run strong for St. John Bosco, as he ran for a 19-yard gain into Sierra Canyon territory. Quarterback, Katin Houser, then found Chedon James for a 20-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 35-14 (PAT good). Sierra Canyon started their next drive on their own 23-yard line, but Anthony Spearman helped the Trailblazers down the field with a long run to the St. John Bosco 18-yard line. But the Braves defense kept them out of the end zone. Sierra Canyon missed their field goal attempt, and the third quarter ended with St. John Bosco in the lead 35-14.

Pierce Clarkson started the final quarter with a 20-yard run to the St. John Bosco 40-yard line. But the Braves couldn’t go any farther on this drive, and were forced to punt. After both teams were forced to punt, St. John Bosco linebacker, Andrew Simpson, intercepted a pass and gave the Braves the ball back at their own 15-yard line.

Katin Houser took advantage, as he completed a 41-yard pass to Chedon James for a touchdown, and the Braves went up 42-14 (PAT good). Sierra Canyon then had an answer. After the Trailblazers started their drive on their own 25-yard line, Anthony Spearman ran for another long run into St. John Bosco territory. Quarterback, Alonzo Contreras, then found running back, Jason Jones for a 10-yard touchdown to make the score 42-21 (PAT good). However, St. John Bosco was able to run out the remaining time on the clock, and they walked away with their first big win of the season.

St. John Bosco begins their season with a huge win, and the Braves advance to 1-0. The Braves take on Santa Margarita next week on Saturday, March 20th, at 10 PM ET (7 PM PT). Sierra Canyon falls to 0-1, and the Trailblazers look to pick up their first win of the season next week against St. Bernard on Friday, March 19th at 10 PM ET (7 PM PT).

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