Not just any high school football game is broadcast on ESPN. And last Friday’s highly anticipated matchup in Las Vegas between the St. John Bosco Braves and the Bishop Gorman Gaels, USA Today’s No. 1- and 2-ranked teams in the nation, more than lived up to the pre-game expectations.
In the end, the Braves’ terrific comeback effort from a 24-point deficit fell short and the Gaels prevailed, 34-31, before 7,000 fans who endured a 55-minute delay due to a thunderstorm with heavy winds.
When action finally began, Gorman capitalized on gaps in the Braves’ defense. Sophomore quarterback Tate Martell scored on a 4-yard run. After the Braves drove down the field but came away with just a field goal, senior Russell Booze exploded on an 80-yard touchdown run, making it 14-3. On their next possession, the Gaels drove 75 yards in 12 plays, capped by Jonathan Shumaker’s 1-yard run for a 20-3 lead.
After holding the Braves to start the second half, the Gaels scored on their first offensive play, on Martell’s screen pass to Tyjon Lindsey, who maneuvered 67 yards into the end zone. After Bosco scored, Martell answered with a 24-yard touchdown pass to tight end Alize Jones to make the score 34-10 with 4:02 remaining in the third quarter.
But St. John Bosco was not going down without a fight. Sean McGrew found the end zone from 6 yards out to cut the Gaels lead to 34-17 with 22 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Senior quarterback Josh Rosen then found Jarrett Balter for a 25-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, and with 1:12 left in the game found senior Kaylin Franklin for an 8-yard touchdown, cutting the lead to 34-31.
The Braves tried an onside kick to get a chance for the win. The ball bounced off the hands of one Gorman player, then the helmet of a John Bosco player before the Gaels’ Lindsey fell on the loose ball to secure their 34-31 victory.
It was the Braves’ first loss since their 2012 CIF-SS playoff loss to Long Beach Poly, but they remain in the top 10 of both of Maxpreps’ polls (Bishop Gorman is first and second). Trinity League play starts on Oct. 10, when St. John Bosco takes on undefeated Mater Dei, now rated fifth and sixth in the two polls, after a 34-12 win over Edison last weekend.
The Mission League season began with Crespi edging Bishop Amat 32-31; Chaminade downing Loyola 24-7; and Serra/Gardena getting past Notre Dame 28- 23. This weekend’s Mission League games will pit Chaminade at Alemany (Oct. 2), Serra at Bishop Amat, and Crespi vs. Loyola at L.A. Valley College (both Oct. 3).
Most of last weekend’s action was of the non-league variety:
De La Salle/Concord 47, Servite 24.
Santa Margarita 42, Venice 0.
J. Serra 52, St. Paul.
La Salle 42, Duarte 7.
Upland 26, St. Bonaventure 21.
St. Francis 49, Canyon/Canyon Country 32.
Bakersfield 49, Salesian 6.
Damien 37, South Hills 0.
Righetti 37, St. Joseph/Santa Maria 14.
Paraclete 43, Montebello 0.
Bishop Montgomery 35, Mary Star 13.
St. Monica 34, St. Bernard 18.
Cantwell Sacred Heart 44, Pioneer/Whittier 0.
Cathedral 34, Dorsey 3.
St. Anthony 49, St. Mary’s/Calgary 0.
Villanova Prep 63, Price/L.A. 14.
Oct. 2: Frontier League: Santa Clara at Malibu.
Non-League: Mater Dei at Westlake, Calabasas at St. Francis.
Oct. 3: Mission League: Serra at Bishop Amat, Crespi vs. Loyola (at L.A. Valley College).
Non-League: St. Anthony at Valley Christian, Mary Star at St. Bernard, Don Bosco Tech vs. Cantwell Sacred Heart (at Salesian), Verbum Dei at Cathedral, St. John Bosco at Crenshaw, Oaks Christian at Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks, Garces at St. Bonaventure, Bishop Diego at Mission Prep/San Luis Obispo, Damien at Ayala, Santa Maria at St. Joseph/Santa Maria, St. Monica at Carpinteria.
Oct. 4: Non-League: St. Genevieve vs. Poly/Pasadena.
Rankings as of Sept. 29:
Pac-5: St. John Bosco (1), Mater Dei (2), Alemany (3), J.Serra (6), Chaminade (7), Servite (8), Santa Margarita (10). Honorable mentions: Serra and Crespi.
Southeast: St. Francis (1), Cathedral (4), Salesian (7).
Mid-Valley: Paraclete (3).
East Valley: St. Genevieve (6), St. Anthony (7), St. Monica (8).
Northern: Bishop Diego (6).
West Valley: Damien (HM).