Matt Logan, the Corona Centennial football coach in his 19th season, is going to be able to pull off a neat magic trick whenever he wants. He can hide his hands in a paper bag, then yell, "Abracadabra" and show off championship rings on each of his fingers.
The Huskies (14-0) won their 10th Southern Section football championship on Saturday night at Angel Stadium, putting on a first-half scoring blitz that left unbeaten Bellflower St. John Bosco reeling in the Pac-5 Division championship game before 13,599.
"It's unreal. I'm so proud of our kids," Logan said.
The Huskies came away with a 62-52 victory that will send them to Sacramento in two weeks to play Concord De La Salle in the CIF state championship Open Division bowl game. De La Salle won its 24th consecutive section title in Northern California with a 35-0 win over Pleasanton Foothill.
St. John Bosco (13-1) hadn't given up more than 21 points all season. Five seconds into the second quarter, Centennial led, 27-10. By halftime, Centennial had put up 55 points to lead, 55-31. It was the most points ever scored by two teams in a Southern Section first-half playoff game. Things kept going from bad to worse for a Braves team that had won 12 of its 13 games via running clocks in the fourth quarter.
"They didn't let us breathe," St. John Bosco Coach Jason Negro said. "We couldn't catch our breath."
Quarterback Anthony Catalano played a near flawless first half for the Huskies. He had touchdown passes of 31 yards to Sammonte Bonner, 49 yards to Cameron Jackson and 14 yards to Javon McKinley and was 10 of 13 passing for 220 yards. J.J. Taylor contributed touchdown runs of 21, eight, two yards and 65 yards. He rushed for 174 yards. McKinley caught seven passes for 132 yards. And Jackson caught a 65-yard TD pass from McKinley on a double pass.
The two teams combined for 798 yards in total offense in the first half. Centennial scored on seven of its eight offensive possessions.
It was an unforgettable display of offensive firepower against two defenses that have played well all season.
St. John Bosco didn't help itself when Camryn Bynum and Kentrell Love each came up with interceptions of quarterback Quentin Davis, who left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. The Braves also lost the ball on a fumble. Sophomore Re-Al Mitchell did his best in emergency action. He had touchdown passes of 47 and 33 yards to Devin Fleming. He added a 65-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Bynum finished with two interceptions. Taylor's fifth touchdown run, an eight-yard fourth-down run late in the third quarter, pushed Centennial's lead to 62-38.
Sean McGrew's 11-yard touchdown run, his third of the game, with 3:38 left, pulled St. John Bosco to within 62-52. An onside kick attempt failed.
Taylor finished with 269 yards rushing in 41 carries. Catalano was 11 of 18 for 225 yards. Mitchell completed seven of 14 passes for 179 yards. McGrew rushed for 196 yards in 24 carries. Centennial gained 624 yards. St. John Bosco had 569 yards.
No one should be surprised that the games are high-scoring when these two teams play. In 2013, St. John Bosco won, 70-49, in a regional bowl game. Last season, Centennial won, 48-41, in the Pac-5 final.
"It's turning into quite a rivalry," Negro said.