CONCORD, Calif. —
It's that time of year again and that's bad news for all large-division schools in the Bay Area.
And beyond. De La Salle (Concord)
High School looked fast, interested and dominant on both sides of the ball in a 41-9 win over visiting Monte Vista (Danville)
The running tandem of
(19 rushes, 200 yards, three touchdowns) and Das Tautalatasi
(11-124-1) were dynamic and a healthy defense recorded six sacks and gave up just 159 yards in the decisive victory.
The nation's No. 11 team, according to the MaxPreps Xcellent 25
national rankings, improved to 8-0 while Monte Vista dropped to 6-2. About week eight is when De La Salle traditionally kicks it into gear as it has done the last three years en route to State Open Divison Bowl championships.
"I was very happy how we came out and played on both sides of the ball," De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur said. "Our runners ran hard and with a lot of passion, our line blocked well and our defense was just outstanding. I was very impressed. ... They should be excited how they played tonight."
It helped to have top college prospects Austin Hooper
, a defensive end, and linebacker D.J. Moffitt
back from injury. The Spartans haven't been at full strength on defense since Week 1, according to defensive coordinator Terry Eidson. Hooper had one of the team's sacks along with Victor Egu
, Larry Ross
, Zach Stratton
, Devin Perkins
and Moffitt, who had a 45-yard interception for touchdown nullified by a roughing the passer call.
"It was good to be back," said Hooper, who missed four games with a knee injury. "It was good to have all of us back. That's how we can play when we put it all together."
Monte Vista fumbled away the opening kickoff and never really got much going. The Mustangs got three field goals (39, 39 and 34 yards) by
John De Maio
and a stellar all-around game from receiver Jalen Avery
(four catches, 85 yards). Zack Chang
, who came in with 770 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, also ran hard with 12 carries for 54 yards.
Besides the outstanding running of Vitale (TD runs of 1, 4 and 61 yards) and Tautalatasi, a 39-yard touchdown pass from Chris Williams
to Austin Lonestar
with 6.5 seconds left in the half was the backbreaker.
De La Salle had no timeouts and Williams completed a short slant over the middle and Lonestar weaved through the Monte Vista secondary for the score, making it 28-3. Williams also completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Buckley
to start the scoring. Buckley also had an interception
Two of Monte Vista's field goals came following De La Salle fumbles (the Spartans lost three) in Spartan territory. De Maio absolutely drilled all three of his field goals - all could have been good from at least 50 yards.
De La Salle is Northern California's top-ranked team and if it plows through and takes its 21st consecutive North Coast Section title will almost assuredly be invited to the Northern California Open Division regional final. A victory in that game would send De La Salle to its seventh straight Bowl Game or as long as the bowl games have been in existence.