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PREP EXTRA / SOUTHERN SECTION PLAYOFFS : DIVISION I : Los Alamitos Tosses Aside Del Rey League Foe St. John Bosco


CERRITOS — Los Alamitos Coach John Barnes said before Friday's game against Bellflower St. John Bosco that his team was ready to make a point. Or accept a challenge.

"They've been bad-mouthing us on how tough the Del Rey League is," Barnes said of his opponent. "We'll find out. For us, it's a real important game."

And admittedly, St. John Bosco was tough. But not tough enough.

Los Alamitos matched the Southern Section record for games without a loss, 46, by scoring a 37-22 victory over St. John Bosco at Gahr High. The Braves (5-6) were the division's at-large team from the Del Rey League.

The standing-room-only crowd of 4,000 watched the Griffins (11-0) tie Temple City (1969-73) and Canyon Country Canyon (1983-86) in the record book.

"It's a great accomplishment and a credit to the past teams that started (and continued) the streak," said quarterback Kevin Feterik, who passed for 246 yards and four touchdowns.

And in the process of winning their first Division I playoff game after dominating Division II the past two seasons (and tying for the Division III title in 1991), they also made a statement. Los Alamitos will play Long Beach Poly next.

"Maybe in the future (we'll beat them)," St. John Bosco Coach Jerry Person said. "I've got to give it to them--those guys are the real deal with their passing game. They can throw the ball."

"We hear a lot that the Sunset League is soft," receiver Brad Melsby said. "We wanted to prove something about Orange County football tonight."

Melsby caught eight passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns.

Although St. John Bosco controlled the ball in the second half, its 31-7 halftime deficit was too much to overcome.

Feterik was nearly flawless in the first half, completing 12 of 15 passes--and one was dropped--for 210 yards and four touchdowns.

The first of those scores went to Tony Hartley on the game's first drive, a swift 77-yard, seven-play journey that lasted 1:59. Feterik set up St. John Bosco's defense with inside screen passes, then sucked it into looking for Ryan Gragnano on the run. Then he found Hartley racing down the sidelines; Hartley caught the ball in stride and kept running, to the back of the end zone.

And the rout was on.

Los Alamitos next got the ball on the St. John Bosco 35, and Ben Hughes kicked a 30-yard field goal.

And then Melsby took over.

The Griffins' next three drives ended with Melsby catching the ball over his shoulder, racing untouched into the end zone or spinning off would-be tacklers. He finished the first half with seven catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns of seven, 30 and 26 yards.

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