CONCORD, Calif. —
The last time De La Salle's (Concord, Calif.)
football team lost to a Northern California team the cost of a dozen eggs was 85 cents and a gallon of gas was $1.12.
When Bellarmine (San Jose, Calif.)
quarterback Travis McHugh scored on an 8-yard run at the end of the first overtime, the end of that streak of 213 games that started in 1991 appeared money in the bank.
All the Bells needed to do was kick and extra point and the Spartans' two-decade unbeaten streak was done.
Instead the kick sailed left and in the second overtime, De La Salle quarterback
scored on a 1-yard run to give the nation's third-ranked team a thrilling, hard-earned 26-23 victory at Owen Owens Field on Friday night in both squads' season-opener.
"You always think a PAT is going to be good," De La Salle coach Bob
Ladouceur said. "But in high school it's not always the case."
The Spartans learned that first hand in the first overtime.
Outplayed most of regulation, De La Salle scored on its first possession in overtime,
but the point-after was wide leaving the Spartans with a 20-14 lead.
Bellarmine answered on McHugh's touchdown, meaning a successful extra point would
have ended De La Salle's two-decade stranglehold against Northern
But it too sailed wide left.
Bellarmine, which returned 16 starters from last year's 9-3 team, started with the ball in the second overtime, but was forced to settle for a field goal.
De La Salle's
ran for six yards, before Ladouceur called Houston's
number on the next two plays. The Wisconsin-bound senior carried for
three on second down before punching it in for the win.
It was redemption for Houston, who struggled in the first half. He
threw a pair of interceptions and lost a fumble which Bells' linebacker
Joe Gigantino returned 41 yards for a touchdown.
"I was shocked by how many mistakes we made," Ladouceur said. "But obviously I'm happy with the end result."
Down 7-0 coming out of halftime, De La Salle senior Anthony Williams
returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown to breath life back into the
"It woke up our team," Ladouceur said.
On its first offensive possession in the second half, De La Salle
(1-0) needed just three plays to cover 83 yards and take a 14-7 lead.
Houston hit Williams deep down the left sideline and and he outraced
Bellarmine to the end zone.
The Spartans had a chance to take a two-possession lead, but a missed
32-yard field goal with 10:32 left in the game gave the Bells hope.
Using its double-tight, double-wing offense, Bellarmine marched 70 yards
on 16 plays and McHugh capped the drive with a 1-yard keeper with 2:20
Bellarmine outgained the Spartans 296-214 and were led by 92 yards
rushing from McHugh. Tim Crawley ran for 73 yards on 19 carries and
Conner Jaunch added 47 yards.
Vitale ran for 76 yards on 13 carries, while Houston completed 4 of 11 passes for 111 yards.