Nearing the halfway point of the 2018 high school football season, St. John Bosco kept its No. 1 ranking locally and nationally, but the road gets no easier for the Braves — or anyone else.

St. John Bosco (4-0) and Mater Dei (3-1) are 1-2 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 football poll released Sept. 10, and in Maxpreps’ “Xcellent 25” survey. Also in the CIF D-1 top 10 are J.Serra (seventh), Servite (eighth), Serra of Gardena (ninth) and Chaminade (tenth).

The Braves this week face perhaps their toughest test to date, traveling to West Hills to play Chaminade (2-2). Mater Dei, meanwhile, is idle and preparing for its Sept. 21 clash with IMG Academy of Bradenton, Fla., ranked No. 5 in the Xcellent 25 poll but No. 1 in Maxpreps’ Freeman Computer Rankings, ahead of St. John Bosco and Mater Dei.

In Division 2, Cathedral (4-0) moved from eighth to sixth while Alemany (3-1) dropped from fourth to eighth after its first loss. Cathedral this week heads to La Puente to play Bishop Amat (3-1), and Alemany hosts Downey.

St. Bonaventure (3-1) inched up from ninth to eighth in Division 4 after its first loss, and unbeaten St. Paul (4-0) held at third in the D-5 survey, heading into its home contest this week against Paraclete (1-3). St. Bernard rose from seventh to fourth in D-13.

This week’s games

This week’s schedule includes the second of a month-long series of “Touchdowns Against Cancer” games. Each participating team’s touchdown will raise money (through online pledges) to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. (To learn which schools are participating, visit

Sept. 14: St. John Bosco at Chaminade; Cathedral at Bishop Amat; Faith Lutheran at J.Serra; Saugus at St. Francis; Narbonne at Serra; Servite at Villa Park; Valencia at Loyola; Downey at Alemany; Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) at San Fernando; Crespi at El Camino Real; Paraclete at St. Paul; Damien at Alta Loma; Salesian at Harvard-Westlake; Bishop Diego at Golden Valley; St. Bonaventure at Hart; La Salle at Apple Valley; Gahr at St. Anthony; Cantwell-Sacred Heart at St. Pius X-St. Matthias; Morningside at Bishop Montgomery; Taft at St. Genevieve; Verbum Dei at Centennial (Compton); Centennial (Bakersfield) at St. Joseph (Santa Maria); Mary Star at South (Torrance); Don Bosco Tech at Jordan (L.A.).

Sept. 15: Orem at Santa Margarita; St. Monica (Santa Monica) at Riverside Prep.

Eight-Man Football: Lutheran at St. Michael’s Prep (Sept. 13); Valley Christian at Villanova (Sept. 14).

Mike Nelson is the former editor of the Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News). 

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