St. John Bosco and Mater Dei will meet for the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 football championship Nov. 23 — as if there was ever any doubt.

For the third straight year, the Braves and Monarchs reached the D-1 title game (7:30 p.m. at Cerritos College) in their customary, over-powering fashion by cruising to semifinal wins Nov. 16:

  • St. John Bosco (13-0) overwhelmed Oaks Christian, 56-10, as DJ Ulagalelei threw six touchdown passes, and George Holani scored three.
  • Mater Dei (11-2) took out previously unbeaten Centennial of Corona, 48-14, with Elias Ricks returning three interceptions for touchdowns in the first half.

The only question that remains is which of the two Trinity League titans has the bigger revenge factor in its favor. Mater Dei defeated St. John Bosco in the 2017 D-1 title game, 49-24 (payback advantage, Braves), but Bosco downed Mater Dei in this year’s regular season battle on Oct. 12, 41-18 (payback advantage, Monarchs).

Currently, St. John Bosco is No. 1 on  Maxpreps’ Xcellent 25 weekly survey and Mater Dei No. 3. The Braves, under coach Jason Negro, are making their sixth straight appearance in a CIF-SS title game, having won the 2016 D-1 and State Open Division titles. The Monarchs, led by coach Bruce Rollinson, are playing in a title game for the fifth time in the past seven years, and are defending State Open Division champions.

The other remaining Catholic school teams in the 11-man football playoffs were both eliminated in last Friday’s semifinals. In Division 2, undefeated Rancho Verde (13-0) edged Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, 41-38, and St. Paul lost to Lawndale, 20-7, in Division 5.

In the Nov. 9 quarterfinals:

  • D-1: St. John Bosco beat San Clemente, 56-6; Mater Dei beat Mission Viejo, 56-17; Oaks Christian edged J.Serra, 35-34; and Centennial/Corona beat Rancho Cucamonga, 58-20.
  • D-2: Notre Dame outscored Los Alamitos, 49-32; Rancho Verde beat Alemany, 42-14.
  • D-3: Paraclete lost to Cajon, 76-40.
  • D-5: St. Paul beat La Serna, 34-30.
  • D-13: St. Bernard lost to Garey, 41-32.
  • Eight-man: In D-1, Villanova Prep lost to Chadwick, 70-39. In D-2, St. Michael’s Prep lost to Hesperia Christian, 60-0.

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

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