The Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall and the Maginot Line have a new competitor. The defensive line for No. 7 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.).
Over the top hyperbole? Certainly, but don’t tell that to the Braves’ first two victims this season, St. Xavier (Cincinnati) and La Mirada, Calif., both of whom lost 34-0 to St. John Bosco.
St. John Bosco’s defensive line has four returning starters, led by defensive end Jacob Collier and junior tackle Sal Spina. No. 1-ranked Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) will have to find a way through that line if it hopes to win its game with the Braves in Long Beach on Friday. That’s not the only line that concerns the Gaels (2-0) as the Braves’ offensive line is anchored by Wyatt Davis, who is 6-3 and 319 and Tavita Moe III, who is 6-3, 350.
“We approach every game trying to do what we do effectively,” Bishop Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said. “We’re not running around their strengths. You have to be able to tackle their strengths and win those battles. We believe our system works well and that’s what we’re good at.”
The last time these teams met, it was a classic. In 2014, the Gaels held off a late charge by then-Bosco quarterback Josh Rosen for a 34-31 win, knocking the Braves from the No. 1 spot in the Super 25.
Both teams have plenty of weapons offensively. Gorman quarterback Tate Martell has passed for 408 yards and four touchdowns and run for 243 yards and four touchdowns. Bosco quarterback Re-al Mitchell is a dual threat as well, passing for 437 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for three touchdowns.
“I think the biggest thing that stands out is their size, especially in the trenches,” Sanchez said. “They have a quarterback with really good speed and real good athleticism in the secondary. We are approaching this game the same way we did Cedar Hill.”
Gaels running back Biaggio Ali-Walsh ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s opening defeat of Cedar Hill, Texas. He sat out last week to rest an injury but is expected back for Friday. St. John Bosco running back Terrance Beasley ran for 254 yards and a touchdown last week in his team’s defeat of La Mirada. He also had a touchdown run against St. Xavier. Bishop Gorman wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey, out since the opener with a shoulder injury, could also return.
This should be an interesting game for Ohio State fans with three big-time Buckeye commits: Lindsey, Martell, Bishop Gorman defensive tackle Haskell Garrett and Davis.