Sophomore running back Sean Mcgrew of Bellflower St. John Bosco played the role of an unstoppable 100-meter track runner on Saturday night at Cerritos College the way he kept taking handoffs and scoring touchdowns untouched.
By night's end, he had scored seven touchdowns, rushed for 367 yards in 17 carries and helped the Braves turn a tie game at halftime into a 70-49 victory in the CIF state regional Open Division bowl game.
St. John Bosco (15-0) put together a four-touchdown barrage in the third quarter after a 21-21 halftime deadlock. It was rapid-fire and executed in devastating fashion.
It started with Jaleel Wadood catching a 31-yard touchdown pass from Josh Rosen. Then Mcgrew sprinted 81 yards for a touchdown. Jarett Balter caught a 15-yard touchdown and Mcgrew took a screen pass 76 yards for another touchdown.
The victory sets up an Open Division championship game next Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson between the state's top two teams, St. John Bosco and Concord De La Salle (14-0), a 45-17 winner over Folsom.
Rosen finished with 243 yards passing and three touchdowns. Centennial quarterback Robert Webber passed for 422 yards and five touchdowns. Barry Ware caught four touchdown passes. Tre Watson rushed for 224 yards and two touchdowns.
At times, Saturday's game was similar to fastbreak basketball, with both teams trying to take advantage of up-tempo offenses. It was a wild, unpredictable first half that featured repeated changes in momentum.
St. John Bosco appeared on the verge of making the game a rout at the outset. Mcgrew had touchdown runs of 47 and 17 yards for a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. The Braves were getting ready to take a 21-0 lead when JJ Taylor of Centennial broke through the line on fourth down to trip up Nas Anesi at the one. The Huskies then put together a 99-yard drive. Ware caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Webber.
Webber kept challenging St. John Bosco's defense, escaping the pass rush and finding receivers at the last moment. He had a five-yard touchdown pass to Ware with six seconds left before halftime on fourth-and-goal, then a two-point conversion pass to tie the score, 21-21.
Webber completed 12 of 24 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. Mcgrew rushed for 154 yards in seven carries and had three touchdowns. St. John Bosco's secondary players had trouble adjusting to Centennial's quick-snap offense.