Two of California’s best clashed on the gridiron Friday night, as Servite High School traveled to Bellflower to take on St. John Bosco.
St. John Bosco ultimately got the best of Servite on its home field, downing the Friars by a final score of 38-28. St. John Bosco is now 3-0 on the young California high school football season, while Servite drops to 2-1. Both teams entered Friday ranked in the top five of MaxPreps’ state rankings.
St. John Bosco jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over Servite on a 43-yard field goal by Andre Meono. Servite went three-and-out on its ensuing offensive possession, but broke into the scoring column one drive later following a missed field goal by Meono, as running back Houston Thomas punched it in from two yards out to put the Friars up 7-3 early in the second quarter.
Servite carried its 7-3 lead into halftime, but St. John Bosco erased its four-point deficit early in the third quarter, as Katin Houser hit Matayo Uiagalelei, the younger brother of former St. John Bosco star and Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, for a 25-yard touchdown to put the Braves back on top, 10-7. A three-yard touchdown pass from Pierce Clarkson to Chedon James made it 17-7 St. John Bosco before five-star wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to bring Servite back within three.
St. John Bosco answered right back, though, as Jabari Bates broke loose for a 75-yard touchdown run that put the Braves back up by 10 with two minutes remaining in the third. Servite cut into the lead once again one minute later, as McMillan hauled in a three-yard touchdown pass to make it a 24-21 game at the end of the third quarter.
St. John Bosco kicked off the fourth quarter with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Clarkson to Uiagalelei, his second receiving score of the game. Braves outside linebacker Jalen Woods came up with one of the biggest plays of the game on Servite’s ensuing offensive possession, coming down with an interception on St. John Bosco’s three-yard line to stall Servite’s promising drive. St. John Bosco did not generate any points off the turnover, but was able to take another minute and a half off the clock with Servite down by double digits.
Servite’s offense got back on track on its next series, as quarterback Noah Fifita notched a one-yard rushing touchdown to make it a 31-28 game with five minutes remaining. Fifita and Servite’s last-ditch efforts were ultimately for naught, though, as St. John Bosco’s Michael Hayes put the game on ice with a 15-yard rushing touchdown with just under two minutes left.
Next up for St. John Bosco is a home date with JSerra Catholic, which has dropped its first two games by a combined score of 94-3, on April 3. Servite is set to host Mater Dei on that same day.