St. John Bosco 42 - Eagles 7

MISSION VIEJO, CA., September 29, 2023 – Santa Margarita Catholic opened 2023 Trinity League action by hosting nationally-ranked St. John Bosco (Bellflower) at Saddleback College. The Braves came to Mission Viejo in a cranky mood as they dropped their first nonleague game the previous game at Kahuku (Hawaii). It was their first nonleague defeat since 2017.

From the beginning, SJB was relentless and were able to thwart any threat offered by the young Eagles as they prevailed, 42-7. Sean Embree was a bright spot for the offense as nabbed five receptions including one for SMC’s only score. It was the junior’s third game with five-or-more receptions and has a total of 23 for the season (17.5 average). John Gazzaniga now has seven touchdown passes and has only thrown one interception.

On defense, sophomore Mason Reyes led the club with eight tackles. Fellow sophomore Trey Brown collected the first interception of his high school career. Senior linebackers Gage Burnett and Noah Sulick had seven tackles apiece. Both average better than eight tackles per contest.

Next for SMC is their final regular season home game and Homecoming as they play host to Orange Lutheran. After that, they take to the road for three games to close out the regular season.

St. John Bosco 14 7 14 7 42
Santa Margarita 0 7 0 0 7

SJB – Sylvester 1 run (Wallace kick)
SJB – Dobbins 9 run (Wallace kick)
SJB – Sylvester 14 run (Wallace kick)
SM – Embree 13 pass from Gazzaniga (Gass kick)
SJB – Jones 52 run (Wallace kick)
SJB – Jones 1 run (Wallace kick)
SJB – Sylvester 7 run (Wallace kick)

Rushing: SM - Lendsey 10-22, Gazzaniga 12-15; SJB - Jones 8-136, Sylvester 17-83
Passing: SM - Gazzaniga 11-30-1-84; SJB - Sanchez 20-30-1-175
Receiving: SM - Embree 5-43, Brody 3-26; SJB - Dobbins 8-72

Summary by Chuck Nan
Statistics by Shane Mielke


St. John Bosco football gets back on track with rout of Santa Margarita

The Braves bounce back from their loss in Hawaii with a dominant win over Santa Margarita in a Trinity League opener.

MISSION VIEJO, CA., September 29, 2023 – The St. John Bosco football players were eager to get on the field for the first time after suffering their first nonleague loss since 2017 two weeks ago in Hawaii.

St. John Bosco bounced back with a dominant 42-7 win over Santa Margarita in both teams’ Trinity League opener Friday at Saddleback College.

The Braves (5-1, 1-0) lost 30-23 against Kahuku of Hawaii on Sept. 16 and had a bye week to stir over the loss.

“I was really proud of how we rebounded,” St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro said. “It was a painful two weeks and we couldn’t wait to get back on the field. I thought we cleaned a lot up from two weeks ago.”

St. John Bosco dominated the game in the trenches. The offensive line, led by Matai Jefferson, King Large and Matthew Perdue, opened up holes for running backs Cameron Jones and Chauncey Sylvester.

Jones, a UCLA commit, led the Braves with 136 yards on eight carries with two touchdowns. Sylvester had 84 yards rushing with three touchdowns.

“The offensive line played great and the holes were wide open for us,” Sylvester said.

The Bosco defensive line played very well too. Bosco held Santa Margarita (4-2, 0-1) to just 48 yards rushing and 133 yards of total offense.

Sophomore Dutch Horsick had a breakout game with three sacks. Jordan Lockhart and Kana’i Kekahuna Lopes added sacks and Tay Lockett had an interception.

“I was super impressed with our defensive line because I thought the Santa Margarita offensive line was the best we have seen so far,” Negro said. “Dutch did a really good job against two really good tackles. I think he caused disruption and he is super impressive for a sophomore.”

Santa Margarita quarterback John Gazzaniga completed 11 of 30 passes for 85 yards with a touchdown and interception.

Bosco quarterback Caleb Sanchez completed 21 of 31 passes for 182 yards with a touchdown and interception.

Sylvester capped a 51-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Braves an early 7-0 lead.

Sanchez threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Stacy Dobbins to increase the Braves lead to 14.

Sylvester ran for his second touchdown of the game from 14-yards out to put the Braves in front 21-0 early in the second quarter.

The Eagles got on the board late in the second quarter with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Gazzaniga to Sean Embree to make the score 21-7 entering halftime. Sophomore defensive back Trey Brown had an interception for the Eagles which led to the scoring drive.

Jones ran for two touchdowns in the third quarter, one 52-yard score and a 1-yard score to give the Braves a 35-7 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Sylvester ran for a 7-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to increase the lead to 42-7.

“We came back with our senior leadership and got everything straightened out,” Jones said. “After the week off we were fresh and had to make a statement like this.”

St. John Bosco will host Servite on Friday, Oct. 6.

Santa Margarita will host Orange Lutheran for its homecoming game on Friday, Oct. 6.


By Michael Huntley
Friday, September 29, 2023
The Orange County Register