As league games provide exciting matchups and high-scoring games, Catholic schools are remaining dominant. St. John Bosco is featured in many national rankings, including No. 8 by USA Today and in Maxpreps’ Excellent 25 poll.

Last week’s games  nearly short-circuited scoreboards all over the Southland, including St. John Bosco’s 49-44 win over previously unbeaten J.Serra.

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, playoff races are far from decided. One upset could lead to a whole upheaval of the standings, both league and national.

The Tidings Top Four

1. St. John Bosco (6-1) relied on its high-powered offense to pull through and beat JSerra (No. 11 in the Maxpreps’ Freeman poll, where Bosco is third). Running back Sean McGrew ran for 386 yards and five touchdowns, including one off a fake punt, to lead the Braves, whose defense gave up the most points they have allowed in a regular season game since 2010. On Oct. 24, the Braves take on Orange Lutheran, which is looking to avoid a third straight Trinity League loss.

2. Bishop Amat (5-3) remains the No. 2 team, as they glided to victory over Chaminade, 52-22, and into the No. 20 spot in the national Freeman poll. Quarterback Damian Garcia torched the Eagles’ secondary for 418 yards and five touchdowns; wideout Brandon Arconado caught four TDs, for 154 yards; and running back Torreahno Sweet ran for 128 yards and a pair of first half touchdowns. Bishop Amat takes a week off in preparation for a Nov. 7 game against Loyola which is winless in Mission League play.

3. Crespi (6-1) looked dominant in a 56-21 victory over rival Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks), scoring 49 unanswered points after falling behind 21-7 in the first quarter, The Celts powered their way to 457 yards rushing: T.J. Brumfield, 184 yards and three touchdowns; Weston Masset, 102 yards, including a 54-yard TD run; and James Starks, 131 yards and two touchdowns. Crespi (No. 15 in the Freeman poll) takes on Chaminade Oct. 31 in a Mission League at West Hills.

4. Alemany (6-1) squeaked by league foe Loyola, 24-23, as quarterback Blake Green threw for 188 yards and a touchdown to Brandon Pierce who caught six passes for 123 yards. Running back Amad Andrews added a pair of rushing touchdowns. Loyola scored with 2:28 left when David Cooper punched in a touchdown, but the extra point missed. Alemany now welcomes a well-rested Serra (5-2, 2-1 in league) in what should be a very exciting Oct. 24 matchup.

Last week’s other results:

St. Francis outscored Cathedral 52-41 in a battle of unbeaten to take charge of the Angelus League lead (7-0 overall, 2-0 in league). The Golden Knights play at St. Paul Oct. 24, with the Swordsmen (4-3, 1-1) coming off a 21-7 loss to Salesian (3-4, 1-1). The Mustangs host La Salle, beaten 39-3 last week by Harvard-Westlake (5-2, 1-1), which this week goes against Cathedral (5-1, 1-1).

Bishop Garcia Diego also remained unbeaten (7-0) heading into its Oct. 25 Tri-Valley League opener with Fillmore (6-1). The Cardinals needed overtime to edge Immanuel, 20-17 last week.


Trinity League: Mater Dei 20, Servite 17; Santa Margarita 42, Orange Lutheran 41 (the Eagles came back from a 41-21 fourth quarter deficit to win with 15 seconds remaining).

Baseline League: Etiwanda 35, Damien 6.

Santa Fe League: St. Genevieve 47, Mary Star 12; St. Monica 50, Don Bosco Tech 12.

Frontier League: Santa Paula 30, Santa Clara 9.

Condor League: Laguna Blanca 36, Villanova 19.

Non-League: St. Anthony 58, Bishop Montgomery 24; Cantwell Sacred Heart 28, Carpinteria 0; Agoura 48, Verbum Dei 21.

This week’s games (all Oct. 24 except where noted):

Trinity League: J.Serra at Mater Dei; Orange Lutheran at St. John Bosco; Servite at Santa Margarita.

Mission League: Serra at Alemany; Crespi at Chaminade; Notre Dame at Loyola.

Baseline League: Chino Hills at Damien.

Tri-Valley League: Fillmore at Bishop Garcia Diego (Oct. 25).

Marmonte League: Oaks Christian at St. Bonaventure.

Angelus League: St. Francis at St. Paul; Harvard-Westlake at Cathedral; La Salle at Salesian.

Gold Coast League: Windward at Paraclete.

Santa Fe League: St. Genevieve at St. Monica; St. Anthony at Don Bosco Tech.

South Catholic League: Verbum Dei at Bishop Montgomery; St. Bernard at Cantwell Sacred Heart.

Frontier League: Malibu at Santa Clara.

Condor League: Milken at Villanova (Oct. 23).

Non-League: Flintridge Prep at Mary Star.

CIF-SS Division Rankings (as of Oct. 20):

Pac-5: St. John Bosco (1), Mater Dei (2), J.Serra (5), Bishop Amat (6), Servite (8), Alemany (9), Crespi (10). Honorable mentions: Santa Margarita.

Southeast: St. Francis (1), Cathedral (3). Honorable mention: Salesian.

Mid-Valley: Paraclete (3).

East Valley: St. Anthony (4).

Northern: Bishop Diego (3).

Northwest: Honorable mention: Cantwell-Sacred Heart.

National Polls (as of Oct. 20):

Maxpreps’ Xcellent 25: St. John Bosco (8), Mater Dei (10), Servite (25).

Maxpreps’ Freeman: St. John Bosco (3), Mater Dei (7), J.Serra (11), Crespi (15), Bishop Amat (20).