Formidable lines will intersect as St. John Bosco, Mater Dei play in title game

Formidable lines will intersect as St. John Bosco, Mater Dei play in title game
St. John Bosco's Malik Street plays defense against Mater Dei wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown in the first half of an Oct. 21 game in which Mater Dei prevailed. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Navigating the buffet line with the greatest of ease, Wyatt Davis, the 310-pound All-American offensive tackle from Bellflower St. John Bosco High, was munching on beef, chicken and mashed potatoes Monday afternoon during the Southern Section football championship luncheon.

He enjoys eating as much as he likes being physical on the football field.


It should be quite a confrontation when St. John Bosco (11-2) plays Santa Ana Mater Dei (13-0) for the Division 1 championship on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

As Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson put it, "We have two great defensive lines and two great offensive lines going against each other. And those are the guys who aren't going to get the headlines. They're the guys who will do all the dirty work. Those are the guys who are going to help win this football game for either team."

It's about the battle in the trenches when Mater Dei and St. John Bosco play this weekend.

The St. John Bosco offensive line was critical in the Braves' 49-47 semifinal victory over Corona Centennial. Davis, plus Albert Reyes, Tavita Moe, Jalen Hooper and Tanner Falcon, helped open holes for running back Terrance Beasley and created opportunities for quarterback Re-al Mitchell. The defensive line, led by Colorado-bound Jacob Collier, made some decisive stops.

Mater Dei's offensive line is  composed of non-seniors. Tommy BrownMason Kolinchak, Kekaniokoa Gonzalez, Christaphany Murray and Andrew Faoliu have allowed just eight sacks while helping quarterback J.T. Daniels connect on 65 touchdown passes.

On defense, Austin Faoliu, the older brother of Andrew, has been an effective nose tackle.

"It's definitely going to come down to whose offensive line performs better in the trenches," Davis said.


End of an era

The Tristan Gebbia era is coming to a close at Calabasas, and who knows how many yards passing he might finish with? The senior quarterback has passed for 12,019 yards and 129 touchdowns in three seasons for the Coyotes (13-0), who play at Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley in the Division 5 final Saturday night.

This season, the Nebraska commit has passed for 4,248 yards and 49 touchdowns.

Big TV rating

Friday's St. John Bosco-Corona Centennial semifinal had the highest prep football TV rating of the season for Fox Sports West. It was 0.57 — 39% better than the St. John Bosco-Mater Dei game from earlier in the season.

Cinderella story

Riverside Norte Vista Coach Ken Batdorf calls what's happened to Eric Melesio a "Cinderella story."

Melesio was a backup running back at Perris Citrus Hill last season. After transferring, Melesio has rushed for 4,194 yards and 53 touchdowns for a Norte Vista team that plays San Gorgonio on Friday at San Gorgonio for the Division 7 title.


Melesio has rushed for 373, 563 and 249 yards in playoff victories.

"I'm always hoping he gets 100 yards, maybe scores a touchdown," Batdorf said. "It's been remarkable."

Colorado fan

Murrieta Valley receiver Maurice Bell will be playing in Friday's Division 2 final at home against San Clemente while his future college team, Colorado, plays for the Pac-12 Conference championship against Washington.

"I'll be fully focused," he said about his own playoff game.



Saturday at El Camino College

Div. III: No. 2 Reseda (11-2) vs. No. 1 Franklin (12-1), 11 a.m.

Div. II: No. 2 Los Angeles (10-3) vs. No. 1 Hawkins (12-0), 3 p.m.

Div. I: No. 2 Dorsey (10-3) vs. No. 1 Narbonne (13-0), 7 p.m.



Division 2: San Clemente (10-3) at No. 2 Murrieta Valley (11-2), 7:30 p.m.

Division 3: No. 2 Edison (12-1) at  No. 1 La Mirada (11-2), 7:30 p.m.

Division 4: No. 3 Corona del Mar (12-1) vs. No. 1 Sierra Canyon (12-0) at Granada Hills, 7 p.m.

Division 6: Paraclete (9-4) at No. 1 Los Altos (13-0), 7 p.m.

Division 7: No. 4 Norte Vista (11-2) at No. 3 San Gorgonio (10-3), 7 p.m.

Division 8: Burbank (10-3) at Yorba Linda (11-2), 7 p.m.


Division 1: No. 3 St. John Bosco (11-2) vs. No. 1 Mater Dei (13-0) at Anaheim Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Division 5: No. 1 Calabasas (13-0) at No. 2 Capistrano Valley (12-1), 7 p.m.

Division 9: No. 3 Silverado (11-2) at No. 1 Cerritos Valley Christian (11-2), 7 p.m.

Division 10: St. Anthony (11-2) at No. 2 Aquinas (11-2), 7 p.m.

Division 11: Valley View (10-3) at Quartz Hill (10-3), 7 p.m.

Division 12: No. 2 Rancho Mirage (11-2) at No. 1 Arroyo (12-1), 7 p.m.

Division 13: No. 1 Santa Ana (13-0) vs. No. 2 Rancho Christian (11-2) at Temecula Valley, 7 p.m.