Mater Dei-St. John Bosco heads this week’s top Southland high school football games

 St. John Bosco's Pierce Clarkson outraces Sierra Canyon's Angelo Pulido en route to a touchdown in March.
St. John Bosco quarterback Pierce Clarkson (10) will hope to find running room against Santa Ana Mater Dei in a battle of unbeaten teams.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

A look at this week’s top high school football games:

Friday games

Santa Ana Mater Dei (3-0) at Bellflower St. John Bosco (5-0), 7:30 p.m. It’s No. 1 vs. No. 2 in this Trinity League opener that will feature a crowd of 6,000 and a national TV audience. St. John Bosco needs an effective running game to create opportunities for quarterbacks Pierce Clarkson and Katin Houser. Mater Dei needs to turn loose its talented group of linebackers to disrupt the Braves and rely on sophomore quarterback Elijah Brown to make the right decisions. The pick: Mater Dei.

It’s time to predict the winners of some big high school football games. Mater Dei or St. John Bosco? Can Servite roll again? How about Los Alamitos?

Sept. 28, 2021

Compton Dominguez (5-0) at Downey Warren (5-0), 7 p.m. Dominguez is hoping its athleticism and speed in the secondary will help contain Warren’s explosive passing game, but the Dons will have to make sure quarterback Nicholaus Iamaleava doesn’t use his legs when his receivers aren’t open. The pick: Warren.

Wilmington Banning (4-1) at San Pedro (4-0), 7 p.m. The Pirates have the better offensive and defensive lines, but their challenge is to make sure All-City running back Jakob Galloway of Banning doesn’t run wild. The Pirates have plenty of offensive firepower that Banning will have to deal with, including versatile Robert Sarmiento. The pick: San Pedro.