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St. John Bosco is making a rush toward greatness

The St. John Bosco Braves' offensive line is dominant in win over Mater Dei.

"Come here!" Bellflower St. John Bosco offensive coordinator Chad Johnson shouted to 310-pound All-American offensive lineman Wyatt Davis.

What happened next caused an onlooker to gasp. It was like watching two people perform the Heimlich Maneuver simultaneously on each other.

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They hugged so hard and roared so loud that the moment will be forever etched in Braves lore.

Davis' blocking and Johnson's play-calling helped result in a stunning 376 yards rushing on Saturday night for St. John Bosco, which upset unbeaten Santa Ana Mater Dei, 42-28, in the Southern Section Division 1 championship game before 13,466.

"We finally wised up, got smart and put Wyatt all over the place," Johnson said of the strategy he and Coach Jason Negro dreamed up to leave Mater Dei (13-1) in tatters.

Davis, who usually plays left tackle, was moved to guard. Junior Kevin Coblentz played tackle. Mater Dei couldn't handle Davis plowing through defenders.

"We had it up our sleeves after the first time we played them," Negro said. "We thought if we played them again, we had to isolate their backs. What better way than to play Wyatt inside and Kevin outside."

Terrance Beasley rushed for 145 yards, Demetrious Flowers gained 120 yards and Re-al Mitchell ran for 111 yards.

On Sunday, the Braves (12-2) found out their additional reward. The CIF state championship bowl games were announced, and St. John Bosco will play Concord De La Salle (11-1) for the Open Division championship Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. at Sacramento State. It will be a rematch of the 2013 final when the Braves went 16-0 and defeated the Spartans in a thrilling final, 20-14.

De La Salle has been improving fast this season, but so has St. John Bosco, which is combing youth with experience. The Braves are on the verge of pulling off the unthinkable — knocking off Corona Centennial, Mater Dei and De La Salle in consecutive games.

The rest of the regional bowl games are set for Friday and Saturday night, and there are some intriguing matchups.

City Section Division I champion Harbor City Narbonne (14-0) will travel to play San Diego Cathedral Catholic (13-0) in Division 1-AA on Friday. The winner faces the Northern California champion, Oakley Freedom (11-1) or Stockton St. Mary's (13-1), on Dec. 16 at Sacramento State.

In Division 1-A, San Clemente (11-3) plays Huntington Beach Edison (13-1) at Huntington Beach on Saturday. In 2-AA, Calabasas (14-0) is at San Diego Madison (11-2) on Friday. In 2-A, it's a public vs. private school battle, with Los Angeles (11-3) playing Chatsworth Sierra Canyon (13-0) at Granada Hills on Saturday.

In 3-AA, Lancaster Paraclete (10-4) plays Chula Vista Mater Dei (12-1) at Antelope Valley College on Friday. In 6-AA, Los Angeles Franklin (13-1) hosts Temecula Rancho Christian (12-2) on Friday.

It has reached the point where players have lots of nicks and bruises, and coaches' wives are getting antsy because the holidays are approaching and their husbands are still focused on football.

"We've gone into uncharted territory," San Clemente Coach Jaime Ortiz said. "We won our first title and want more. These kids don't want it to end. My wife is not happy. She has the Christmas decorations to put up. We're calling in reinforcements."

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Twitter: latsondheimer

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