St. John Bosco beats Servite, earns second place in Trinity League
The Trinity League championship wasn’t on the line Friday night as Servite visited St. John Bosco in a regular-season finale, but the atmosphere created by full stands on both sides and big hits on the field made it seem as if there were something to play for.
Technically, there was something to play for.
A second-place finish behind Mater Dei in the Trinity League is nothing to scoff at, and the winner would earn the No. 2 overall seed in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.
There were also the all-important bragging rights that come with state and national rankings, as the Friars and Braves came in highly regarded in those polls.
Bosco locked up both of those No. 2 spots with a well-balanced performance on both sides of the football, defeating Servite 24-10.
Persisting amid declining enrollments, COVID-19 issues and bureaucratic roadblocks, longtime rivals Dorsey and Crenshaw played a spirited game Friday.
Senior quarterback Katin Houser sealed the game with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Chedon James while facing a fourth-and-four situation with just over two minutes to play and Bosco leading 17-10.
The Bosco defense held Servite (8-2, 3-2) scoreless in the second half and kept star quarterback Noah Fifita at bay as he completed just 10 of his 24 pass attempts for 88 yards with a touchdown and one interception, while also limiting star wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan to two catches for 23 yards.
The Braves were first to get on the scoreboard as Pierce Clarkson evaded a couple of near sacks and found Colin Chase on a 49-yard touchdown strike early in the first quarter.
Servite’s first two possessions of the game started deep in its territory, and the offense couldn’t get into a flow as the Bosco defensive line pressured Fifita and plugged up any running gaps.
A crucial sack on third and long from defensive lineman Mason Graham forced a Bosco punt and gave Servite good field position to start its third drive of the night.
Venice defensive end and tight end Thomas Kensinger is an avid hiker and Boy Scout with a 4.27 grade-point average and an interest in attending MIT.
The Friars capitalized with a 30-yard field goal from David Lugo to make it a 7-3 Braves advantage at the 1:58 mark of the first quarter.
The Servite defensive line came up big again on the Braves’ ensuing drive to get the ball back.
Bosco drew up a designed quarterback run for Clarkson, who took a hard hit that popped the ball free.
The Friars recovered at the Braves’ 19-yard-line and, four plays later, took a 10-7 lead on a touchdown pass from Fifita to Michael Welsh.
Bosco (9-1, 4-1) answered in the second quarter with two highlight-reel plays leading to a touchdown.
First, Clarkson found Matayo Uiagalelei over the middle, and the receiver hurdled a Servite defender to polish off a 32-yard gain to midfield.
On the next play, Clarkson dropped a pass into the hands of a streaking Jabari Bates, who ran past Servite defenders up the right sideline before crashing into a Friars defensive back and into the end zone to give Bosco a 14-10 lead late in the second quarter.
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