Sports

TOP TALENT THROWDOWN

Bryce Young may be Mater Dei's best, says Rollinson

By Dan Arritt     11/11/2019

Mater Dei and St. John Bosco met for their annual Trinity League showdown on Oct. 25, only this year it was more than just a matchup between the top two high school football teams in the nation. 

That script had been written before. 

This season’s rendition also featured what was reportedly the first-ever matchup between the top two ranked high school quarterbacks in the country. 

Bryce Young of Mater Dei entered the game against the Braves with 31 touchdown passes and just three interceptions. He had run for another seven touchdowns on the ground. 

D.J. Uiagalelei of St. John Bosco came in with 27 touchdown passes with just one interception. He had rushed for six touchdowns. 

Interest in the showdown stretched all the way to the Deep South, where Alabama fans are looking forward to the arrival of Young next fall, and Clemson can’t wait to see what Uiagalelei brings to its program. 

Alabama and Clemson combined to win the past four national championships. 

Meeting in a national championship game later in their careers is certainly something both players dream of, but they were keenly focused on their monumental league game at St. John Bosco High. 

The Monarchs and Braves each came into the game sporting 8-0 records and ranked No. 1 and 2 in the nation by every major publication. 

Young quickly made sure the competition between Mater Dei and St. John Bosco, as well as he Uiagalelei, wasn’t close. 

Young completed 19 of 33 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Monarchs to the 38-24 victory, which allowed the Monarchs to reclaim the Trinity League title they lost to the Braves the season before. 

Uiagalelei, meanwhile, had a solid game, completing 17 of 31 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns. 

The night belonged to Young, however. 

Three hours later, he stood surrounded by reporters from near and far, many of whom came to watch him perform live for the first time. 

Young talked about the importance of the win, his respect and admiration of the Braves and the effort his teammates delivered. 

“This is definitely a big win,” he said. “I think it was more just preparing for their defense more than anything.” 

Everyone came away impressed with Young, and not only because of his all-around stellar play, but his humbleness in victory. 

“I’ve had some great (quarterbacks), but you might be looking at the greatest,” Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson said. “What he brings to the table is crazy.” 

The quarterbacks who have come through Mater Dei during Rollinson’s 31-year tenure as head coach include former four-year starters for the Monarchs, Heisman Trophy winners and long-time NFL veterans. 

Young transferred to Mater Dei before his junior season in 2018, filling an unexpected void after three-year starter J.T. Daniels skipped his senior year to enroll early at USC. 

Young also committed to USC the summer before his junior year, but changed his mind in September and committed to Alabama. 

Uiagalelei, meanwhile, committed to Clemson in May. 

Despite their choices in schools, Young said he Uiagalelei remain good friends away from the field.  

They could very well match up again during the CIF-SS playoffs. After all, Mater Dei and St. John Bosco met in the playoffs each of the past three seasons.

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