Mater Dei holds off St. John Bosco, will remain atop USA TODAY Sports Super 25

Mater Dei holds off St. John Bosco, will remain atop USA TODAY Sports Super 25

Football

Mater Dei holds off St. John Bosco, will remain atop USA TODAY Sports Super 25

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Mater Dei handed St. John Bosco its first loss of the 2022 season, holding off the formidable SoCal rival in what many saw as the High School Football Game of 2022.

It was No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the country—a first since 2019—and while some had Bosco at the top spot, the impressive track record and win against Bishop Gorman (Nev.) this season was enough for Mater Dei to earn a No.1 ranking in the USA TODAY Sports Super 25, which they’ve held since Week 1.

After tonight’s victory in Santa Ana, the Monarchs will certainly remain at the top.

As for the game, it was worth the rather pricey admission, a defensive standoff in front of a sell-out crowd that seemed to have only one possession a quarter for each team.

Mater Dei was the younger of the two squads, which may have factored in much of the predictions about the game. But mistakes hurt Bosco’s offensive progressions, something that seemed part nerves and anticipation, and part these are still kids, and what number of stars are next to their names is inconsequential.

An interception in the first from Bosco QB Pierce Clarkson was answered with a 99-yard drive by Mater Dei that ate up over seven minutes—and, more importantly, ended with a score. 

Other gaffes snuck into the talented Braves’ attack as well, including eight penalties that negated 70 yards. 

For the most part, Mater Dei avoided those errors on their end, while capitalizing on the unlikely opportunities. 

Monarch QB Elijah Brown fended off adversity and held steady the entire game, now moving to 24-0 for his career.

Bosco’s Clarkson had an abbreviated night, one that came with an update you never want to see during football at any level.

In the end, Mater Dei was too much. On this night, anyway.

Final score: Mater Dei 17, St. John Bosco, 7.

Final predictions: the recruiting landscape was pages long, with top prospects on both sides of the ball, and regardless of which team won the game, it’s safe to say that few programs would want either on their schedule…

And it’s even safer to say that we’ll see these teams again the day after Thanksgiving at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

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