10:51 PM PST, December 7, 2013
Twenty-seven years after losing to Russell White and Encino Crespi in its last appearance in a Southern Section football championship game, unbeaten Bellflower St. John Bosco came into Angel Stadium on Saturday night determined to finish off the most successful season in school history.
It was the defense that smothered and dominated Santa Ana Mater Dei during a 34-7 victory in the Pac-5 Division championship game before 12,525, giving the Braves a 14-0 record and an unquestioned standing as the No. 1 team in Southern California.
Jaleel Wadood caught touchdown passes of 10 and five yards, Reid Budrovich made field goals of 30 and 33 yards, Nas Anesi had a one-yard touchdown run and an interception, and Sean McGrew contributed a 13-yard scoring run for the Braves.
McGrew rushed for 137 yards and quarterback Josh Rosen ran for 105.
Hired in 2010 to make the Braves a playoff team in the powerful Trinity League, Coach Jason Negro has done that and more. The Braves are 26-1 on the field the last two seasons. The defense held Mater Dei's offense scoreless over eight quarters this season.
St. John Bosco's season isn't finished. The Braves are expected to face Corona Centennial next week in a CIF state championship Southern California Open Division bowl game, with the winner likely to take on Concord De La Salle on Dec. 21 at StubHub Center in Carson for the Open Division title.
It was another second-place finish for the Monarchs (11-3), who lost to Long Beach Poly in last year's Pac-5 final. The football team joins boys' water polo and girls' volleyball with runner-up spots in championships this winter.
Both teams came out with conservative game plans on offense, but St. John Bosco was able to come away with a 10-7 halftime lead.
Mater Dei scored first when Johnny Johnson blocked a punt and fell on the ball in the end zone in the second quarter.
Then the Braves went on a 34-point run.
St. John Bosco got a 33-yard field goal from Budrovich and a 10-yard TD reception by Wadood that came after a pass-interference call against Jonathan Lockett in which Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson looked red in the face in protesting to the officials.
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