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Football: Long Beach Poly finds itself in a familiar spot

A thick fog rolled into Veterans Memorial Stadium at halftime of Friday's Pac-5 Division semifinal, making it hard for spectators to guess what was happening.

On the field, though, Long Beach Poly made it crystal clear which was the better team, outgaining St. John Bosco by a wide margin, controlling the clock and running roughshod around and through a proud Braves defense before getting a key turnover in the waning moments to preserve a 13-10 victory.

Poly (10-3) will try to win its 19th CIF title when it takes on Santa Ana Mater Dei next Saturday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Coach Raul Lara admitted before the playoffs he didn't know just how good his team was. He does now.

"I knew what we were capable of doing, it was just a matter of getting the kids to believe it," Lara said before boarding the team bus back to campus. "What do I know about Mater Dei? I know they are very, very good."

Poly won its last section crown in 2008. St. John Bosco (8-5) was vying to reach its fourth CIF final and first since losing the Big-Five title game to Encino Crespi in 1986.

-- Steve Galluzzo

 
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