To no one’s surprise, Mater Dei and St. John Bosco will meet for the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 football championship Dec. 2 at Cerritos College, after each routed their semifinal opponents Nov. 24.
Three other Catholic schools — St. Francis (Division 3), Paraclete (D-5) and Bishop Diego (D-6) — also will play for titles in their respective divisions on Dec. 1 or 2, having advanced with high-scoring semifinal victories.
D-1: Mater Dei (13-0) built a 35-7 halftime lead and rolled over previously unbeaten Mission Viejo, 49-21, while St. John Bosco (11-2) ran past Centennial of Corona, 62-34, racing to a 27-0 first-half lead and coasting the rest of the way. The Monarchs previously beat the Braves, 31-21, on Oct. 13 in Bellflower, which decided the Trinity League title, but nonetheless are still seeking revenge for their 42-28 loss at Bosco’s hands in the 2016 D-1 final that ultimately led to Bosco’s Open Division state championship.
D-3: St. Francis (12-1) shut down El Toro, 52-17, after leading 42-17 at halftime. The Golden Knights’ finals opponent is Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley (11-2), Inland Valley League champion and winners of nine straight.
D-5: Paraclete (12-1) led 27-7 at the half on its way to a 55-35 semifinal win over Paloma Valley. The Spirits, last year’s D-6 titlist and state Division 3-AA champion, play Moorpark (11-2), Camino League runner-up, for the championship.
D-6: Bishop Diego (12-1) defeated Saugus, 45-27, and will play Golden Valley (8-5), Foothill League at-large representative, in the finals. The Cardinals have been D-6’s No. 1 team most of the year.
On Nov. 25, Santa Clara lost its D-13 semifinal game to Orange, 52-8, ending the year 10-3.