Powering its way over its opposition like it had done all season, Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana rolled to its tenth CIF-Southern Section football championship with a 49-24 win over St. John Bosco in the Division 1 final Dec. 2 at Cerritos College.
Also earning CIF titles last weekend with impressive victories were Paraclete in Division 5 and Bishop Diego in Division 6. But St. Francis lost the Division 3 championship on a last-second field goal after rallying late to lead in a high-scoring affair.
The division-by-division details:
D-1: Five touchdown passes by JT Daniels and 163 yards rushing by Glenn Harper led Mater Dei (14-0) to its victory over the Braves (11-3). Bru McCoy caught three of the TD tosses, one of them late in the first half to give the Monarchs a 21-10 lead going into intermission.
The Monarchs won the teams’ earlier meeting on Oct. 13 in Bellflower, which decided the Trinity League title. The victory also provided a measure of revenge, since Mater Dei lost to Bosco in the 2016 D-1 final that ultimately led to the Braves’ Open Division state championship.
For Mater Dei, their first CIF-SS title since 1999 has earned them a trip to the CIF State Open Division game Dec. 16 in Sacramento as Southern California’s representative. The Monarchs’ opponent will be perennial power De La Salle of Concord (11-1), whose only loss came Sept. 16 to Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas --- a team Mater Dei defeated on Sept. 1.
D-3: St. Francis (12-2) lost a 44-42 heartbreaker Dec. 1 to Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley (12-2), when Luis Santiago kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired. Kevin Armstead’s three-yard touchdown run and Nico Boschetti’s extra point with 1:01 remaining had given the Golden Knights a 42-41 lead, barely a minute after Rancho Verde went in front, 41-35.
St. Francis was led by junior quarterback Darius Perrantes (two TD runs, two TD passes) and played catch-up throughout the night, as each team regularly moved swiftly downfield to answer one another’s scoring drives.
D-5: Paraclete (13-1), last year’s D-6 titlist and state Division 3-AA champion, defeated host Moorpark (11-3), Camino League runner-up, 49-28. In earning their ninth CIF-SS championship, the Spirits took a commanding 28-7 halftime lead after falling behind 7-0.
Paraclete was led by Brevin White (four touchdown passes), Andre Hunt (two TD reception plus one rushing) and Melquan Stovall (seven receptions, one touchdown). The Spirits will play L.A. City power Narbonne Dec. 9 in the Division 1-A SoCal Regional Finals.
D-6: Bishop Diego (13-1), No. 1 in the division most of the season, defeated Golden Valley, 37-6, in the Dec. 1 finals at Canyon High School for its first-ever CIF-SS football title. The Cardinals’ dominating defense intercepted four passes, blocked a field goal and an extra point, and recorded a safety, and the offense broke open a tight game in the fourth quarter led by Adrian Soracco’s 50-yard touchdown run.
On Dec. 8, Bishop Diego takes on Quartz Hill at Santa Barbara City College (7:30 p.m.) in the Division 3-AA SoCal Regional Finals, with the winner advancing to the state championship game Dec. 16.
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