The East St. Louis football team erased much of a daunting deficit Friday night before falling 42-26 to St. John Bosco in a battle between nationally powerful programs played on Bosco's home field in Bellflower, Calif.
East St. Louis (2-1), the No. 1 large school in the STLhighschoolsports.com rankings, trailed 21-0 at halftime and then 35-0 midway through the third quarter before pulling to within 35-26 with 4:01 to play.
Bosco (3-0), however, quelled the Flyers' comeback by scoring on an 86-yard touchdown pass from Pierce Clarkson to Logan Booher just 13 seconds later.
East St. Louis standout receiver Luther Burden III scored three touchdowns, two on passes from quarterback Robert Battle and one on a 70-yard punt return with 3:02 left in the third quarter to cut Bosco's lead to 35-12.
Leontre Bradford returned a fumble 29 yards for a touchdown with 7:36 to play to get East St. Louis to within 35-18 before Burden fought through several Bosco defenders to score on a 18-yard pass with 4:01 to go.
Bosco led 21-0 at halftime on a pair of TD runs by Clarkson that covered 10 and 51 yards, and Chedon James scored on a 17-yard run on a reverse.
Just more than a minute into the third quarter, Bosco went ahead 28-0 on Rayshon Luke's 60-yard run. Bosco pushed the lead to 35-0 on Matayo Uiagaleilei's 12-yard TD reception from Tayvion Beasley.