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Every Monday, Scorebook Live California reporter Connor Morrissette writes a column highlighting the top performers and the most intriguing storylines in Southern California high school football. You can find his column archive here.

Love it or hate it, there's no denying that this Friday's Mater Dei vs. St. John Bosco game is a big deal. The winner will most likely go on to win the Trinity League and earn the overall number one seed in the Division 1 Southern Section high school football playoffs.

Mater Dei is ranked number one in just about every national high school football poll, with St. John Bosco coming in at number two or number three. It's a clash of titans that will draw country-wide interest.

Alabama fans will want to know how Mater Dei quarterback Bryce Young (their future QB) fares against an elite defense loaded with Division 1 college prospects. The same can be said of Clemson faithful and St. John Bosco quarterback DJ Uiagalelei.

Remember, these were the two teams featured in a Gatorade commercial centered around rivalries earlier this year. Mater Dei and St. John Bosco have become nationally recognized football brands.

We'll take a look at this matchup from every angle throughout the week. As a start, here's a comprehensive preview:


Earlier this season, I wrote a prediction post where I made the case for St. John Bosco to win a state championship. Before any balls were snapped, I liked Bosco to overcome last year's brutal Division 1 Southern Section championship loss and win both a section and state title in 2019.

While that may still happen, Mater Dei has played their opening eight games like a well-oiled machine and deserve their number one ranking. The Monarchs have blown out everyone, with the exception of beating St. Frances (Maryland) by 16, a consensus top-10 team in the nation. Mater Dei's average margin of victory is 38.5.

St. John Bosco has been annihilating opponents too, but the Braves did have some trouble with Servite, winning just 27-26 on October 11. It has been well documented that the refs were bad in that one, but when you put that score next to the Mater Dei vs. Servite score the next week, it's not a good look. Mater Dei crushed Servite 56-11.

Bosco has the tougher strength of schedule due to already playing JSerra and Servite, but they haven't gone up against a true "national" opponent yet, like Mater Dei did against St. Frances. That has also contributed to Mater Dei's number one ranking.


Nothing has separated Mater Dei and St. John Bosco in the last two weeks. Mater Dei has beaten Servite 56-11 and Santa Margarita 45-0. Bosco has beaten JSerra 49-10 and Orange Lutheran 63-6. Both teams come into Friday's game scorching hot.


Quarterback comparison:

Mater Dei's Bryce Young: 184/248 for 2,581 yards, 74% completion percentage, 31 TDs, 3 INTs, 141.8 QBR

St. John Bosco's DJ Uiagalelei: 114/187 for 2,303 yards, 61% completion percentage, 27 TDs, 1 INT, 141.6 QBR

Leading rusher comparison:

Mater Dei's Quincy Craig: 42 carries for 308 yards and 5 TDs

St. John Bosco's Rayshon Luke: 60 carries for 373 yards and 5 TDs

Leading receiver comparison:

Mater Dei's Kody Epps: 57 catches for 980 yards and 13 TDs

St. John Bosco's Kris Hutson: 39 catches for 704 yards and 8 TDs

Leading tackler comparison:

Mater Dei's Ray Leutele: 56 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks

St. John Bosco's Kobe Pepe: 54 tackles, 9 for loss, 8 sacks

Leading interceptor comparison:

Mater Dei has a group of players tied with one.

St. John Bosco's Josh Alford and Jake Newman: 2


Even though it's at St. John Bosco, Mater Dei is the favorite on Friday. If they play like they have through their first eight games, they should win. Young is as good of a quarterback as there has been at the high school level in California.

St. John Bosco has the revenge factor on its side. Uiagalelei skipped the Elite 11 to train with his St. John Bosco teammates in preparation for this game and the inevitable Southern Section championship rematch. Bosco is still angry after last season and that is always a good motivator, especially for a home team. That anger could lead to a win for the Braves if they play their best game of the season to date.


Mater Dei

Let’s get into the weekly breakdown…


Corona Centennial running back Nicholas Floyd rushed for 105 yards and five touchdowns in Friday's 61-23 rivalry win over Norco. At the start of the 2019 season it looked like Norco may have a chance to compete for a Big VIII League championship, especially after Centennial started 1-2 and Norco 3-0.

Floyd and the rest of the Huskies put an end to those thoughts on Friday. Amazingly, Centennial hasn't lost a league game since 2009.


Banning beat Carson 36-35 on an incredible last second heave from Jake Otto to Jeremiah Fa’alafua on Friday.

From there, Banning elected to go for two and the win after the successful Hail Mary. That call took some major guts.

What a game!

Alemany edged Chaminade 35-28 in overtime on Friday. Alemany quarterback Miller Moss threw a touchdown to Kevin Green with 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter and then hit Green again for a successful two-point conversion that sent the game to overtime. Moss found Green for a third time in OT for a touchdown and then the Alemany defense held to secure the victory. Green's final score came on a 4th and 15.

Miller Moss, Alemany football

The game was chippy throughout and the teams didn't shake hands afterwards, but pictures on social media surfaced of players from opposing teams embracing after the dust settled.



This one isn't up for debate. Servite wide-out Tetairoa McMillan had a catch of the year candidate in the Friars' 34-21 win over JSerra on Thursday.


Eagle Rock head coach Andy Moran was fired up after his Eagles took down arch-rival Franklin 45-38 on Friday. He demanded his team get more respect.

“This is a great group of kids, when are we going to stop underestimating them? That’s what I want to know…It’s been this way all year… There’s no substitution for heart.”


Eagle Rock shouldn't drop another regular season game. The Eagles will most likely make the Division 1 playoffs in the LA City Section and be a top three seed. They're firmly in the hunt for a City title.


Oxnard Pacifica senior linebacker Caleb McCullough committed to Arizona State on Friday. He's the seventh player from Southern California to commit to the Sun Devils. Herm Edwards and the rest of his staff have done an exceptional job recruiting in the region.


Lancaster Eastside grad Joshua Kelly rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown in UCLA's 34-16 win over Stanford last Thursday.


Mater Dei vs. St. John Bosco

San Clemente vs. Mission Viejo

Sierra Canyon vs. Grace Brethren

Calabasas vs. Oaks Christian

Notre Dame vs. Bishop Amat

Citrus Valley vs. Cajon

Muir vs. Crescenta Valley

Chaparral vs Temecula Valley

Cathedral vs. Crespi

Hart vs. West Ranch

Serra vs. Alemany

Upland vs. Chino Hills

South Hills vs. Diamond Ranch

Chaminade vs. Loyola

Citrus Hill vs. San Jacinto

Monrovia vs. La Canada

San Gorgonio vs. Eisenhower

Damien vs. Etiwanda

Ayala vs. Bonita

Orange Vista vs. JW North

Corona del Mar vs. Newport Harbor

Inglewood vs. North Torrance

Murrieta Mesa vs. Murrieta Valley

Vista Murrieta vs. Great Oak

Dorsey vs. Crenshaw

Westchester vs. Venice


Bonita over Ayala