No. 9 Servite beats No. 4 St. John Bosco for first time in 10 years

No. 9 Servite beats No. 4 St. John Bosco for first time in 10 years


No. 9 Servite beats No. 4 St. John Bosco for first time in 10 years


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In the regular season, Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) was putting together a perfect year. Win after win, blowout after blowout, they took down opponents with a mission of getting to the top.

There were just two things standing in their way: the Trinity League juggernauts. After starting with eight wins in a row, the Friars fell to Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) in consecutive weeks.

But that was the regular season. Now, we’re talking playoffs. On Friday night, Servite got vengeance over St. John Bosco in the CIF-SS semifinals, taking down the powerhouse 40-21 on the back of excellent defense and an unstoppable rushing performance led by quarterback Noah Fifita.

Fifita, a three-star Arizona commit, rushed 21 times for 139 yards and three touchdowns, according to the Bally broadcast. He ripped off a 55-yard run as well:

It was a sharp contrast to the rest of the season. Entering the game, Fifita had averaged 259 passing yards on 28 attempts per game, according to the Orange County Register. On Friday, he attempted just eight passes and did not throw one until there was only 3:10 left to play in the first half.

The rushing attack was a key part of the game. In addition to Fifita’s big runs, Houston Thomas rushed for a 71-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Thomas came up big on both sides of the ball. He contributed on defense with a fourth-quarter interception that was key in sealing the game for Servite. Leading 27-21, the Friars had turned the ball over on downs, but Thomas got it right back. Ethan Scaffidi punched home a 23-yard rush to put Servite up by two possessions.

That was all the Friars needed, as the defense held strong and prevented St. John Bosco from scoring again.

It was Servite’s first victory over the Braves since October 2011.

This victory makes up for the loss to St. John Bosco earlier this season. With the win, Servite gets a championship date with the only other team to beat them: No. 1 Mater Dei.

โ€œWe wanted to get them again,” Houston said to the Orange County Register.

Well, that desire is preferable to the alternative, given as the Monarchs were widely expected to reach the championship game. They had a tough fight in the semifinal but came ahead of Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 21-16 to reach the title round.

In the first matchup between Servite and Mater Dei this season, Fifta had quite the opposite performance as his game Friday: He went 26-for-43 with 340 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Tight end/wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan had 15 receptions.

Mater Dei won that first game 46-37, but that was the Monarchs’ closest margin of victory in the regular season and by far the most points an opponent scored against them.

Servite will have to do that again, only a little bit better.

It will decide the best football team in Southern California.


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