While several Catholic high school football teams coasted to their fourth straight wins last weekend, Bishop Diego rallied late to overcome St. Joseph, 24-23, in a thrilling matchup of Central Coast powers at Santa Maria.
John Harris’ last-minute touchdown run and Pat Luckhurst’s extra point proved decisive for the Cardinals, the No. 1 team in Division 6, after Dino Maldonado had given the Knights (2-2, No. 6 in Division 5) a 23-17 lead with a short TD run earlier in the fourth quarter.
Mater Dei, on the other hand, proved a most inhospitable host to Bergen Catholic, the top-rated team in New Jersey, with a 62-14 thumping Sept. 16 as part of the Under Armour Brothers in Arms Classic at Mission Viejo High School. Mater Dei entered and exited the game as the No. 1 team in Division 1, California and the U.S., as per MaxPreps’ “Xcellent 25” poll.
Earlier that day, St. Bonaventure (3-1) outscored Jackson Argonaut 46-34, and St. John Bosco (3-1, No. 2 in Division 1 and California) took apart Dorsey, 69-14. Also winning last weekend and reaching 4-0 on the season were Orange County schools J.Serra, 26-9 over Vista Murrietta; Santa Margarita, 49-3 over Mayfair; and Servite, 47-14 over Villa Park.
Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) won its fourth without a loss, 29-0 over San Fernando, the 299th career victory for head coach Kevin Rooney. Cantwell-Sacred Heart (No. 5 in Division 13) made it three straight with a 32-31 heart-stopper over St. Pius X-St. Matthias, the Cardinals’ second straight narrow victory, and St. Francis (No. 7 in D-3) likewise moved to 3-0 by stopping La Serna, 49-20.
Verbum Dei won its third straight after an opening loss, 45-6 over L.A. Jordan. Losing for the first time after three straight wins were Cathedral, 17-7 to Loyola, and Damien, 23-0 to Charter Oak, while St. Anthony (2-1, No. 3 in D-9) lost its first game, 34-6 to St. Paul (2-2, No. 8 in D-6).
Paraclete (3-1, No. 1 in D-5) bounced back from its first loss to upend Burroughs (Ridgecrest), 56-28, and Chaminade (3-1) did likewise in beating Bakersfield 43-14. In last week’s other games:
Inglewood 47, Bishop Montgomery 12; Huntington Park 62, Salesian 14; Rancho Cucamonga 31, Bishop Amat 7; La Salle 21, Muir 20; Trinity Classical 12, St. Bernard 6; Bassett 18, Don Bosco Tech 13; St. Genevieve 41, San Bernardino 15; Oaks Christian 30, Alemany 24; Pasadena Poly 60, Mary Star 0; Golden Valley 26, Crespi 13; Santa Clara 20, Panorama 6; Brentwood 50, St. Monica 0; Villanova Prep 69, Pinewood 34; Discovery (Pacoima) 36, Bellarmine-Jefferson 6.
This week’s games
The two top-ranked teams in Division 1 head out of town for games this Saturday. Mater Dei (No. 1 in the country as well) plays St. Mary’s of Stockton at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara (7 p.m.), while St. John Bosco (No. 6 in the U.S.) has a 2 p.m. clash in the nation’s capital against St. John Prep of Washington, D.C., the country’s 17th-ranked team by MaxPreps.
The seven-team Mission League opens league play this Friday (a few weeks ahead of most leagues), with Loyola at Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks), Chaminade ar Crespi, and Alemany at Serra (Gardena). Bishop Amat is idle.
Also this week:
Sept. 21: Don Bosco Tech at Workman.
Sept. 22: Arrowhead Christian at St. Bernard, St. Paul at Warren, Mary Star at Bishop Montgomery, Damien at Monrovia, Notre Dame Prep at La Salle, St. Anthony at Gahr, Centennial (Compton) at Verbum Dei, Los Alamitos at J.Serra, Jordan at Santa Clara, Hart at St. Bonaventure, St. Francis at Saugus, Arleta at St. Genevieve, Montebello at Cantwell-Sacred Heart, South Gate at Salesian, Servite at Garfield, Mission Viejo at Santa Margarita, St. Joseph (Santa Maria) at Arroyo Grande, Crean Lutheran at St. Pius X-St. Matthias, Tehachapi at Paraclete, Bellarmine-Jefferson at Flintridge Prep, Villanova Prep at Bloomington Christian.
Sept. 23: Bishop Diego at Santa Fe Christian.