OAKLAND, Calif. - De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
High School's football team took the short rout to complete the long and laborious road to Carson.
Nothing is official until this afternoon, but after the Spartans' thorough 49-21 North Coast Section Division I victory over California-San Ramon Saturday, they most assuredly will be invited back to the CIF State Bowl Championships for the fifth straight year. Lucas Dunne
rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns and Bart Houston
completed 10 of 11 passes for 163 yards, accounting for three more scores, as the Spartans (13-0) won their 19th straight and 26th NCS title.
They took advantage of three California turnovers to go 9, 8 and 8 yards on scoring drives and went 25 on another after stopping the Grizzlies on a 4th-and-1 play.
"As if those guys need any extra help," California coach Eric Billeci said.
Meanwhile, California (12-2), which got 100 yards rushing on nine carries from Kyle Alvarez, didn't take advantage of De La Salle's four turnovers.
The Spartans two touchdowns in the final 1:48 of the half to take a 28-7 lead and roll to its 212th straight game without being beat by a Northern California squad.
They'll now get an undefeated nationally-ranked Southern California team – either Mission Viejo, Servite-Anaheim or Centennial-Corona, in next week's Open Division Bowl game at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
"No, it never gets old," De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur said. "Every year is a challenge and these guys thus far have met it."
California gave De La Salle quite a challenge a month ago, losing 31-17 in San Ramon after trailing at 21-3 at halftime. This time, De La Salle finished things off, going 67 yards on seven plays on its first possession of the third quarter, capped with a 6-yard run by Dunne, who now has 31 rushing TDs this season.
"We finished them off this time," said Oregon State-bound lineman Dylan Wynn
, who had 13 tackles. "We had much more intensity the second half."
Dunne scored on runs of 8, 3 and 6 yards and Houston completed TD passes of 26 yards to Lucas Shapiro
(5 catches, 70 yards) and 52 yards to Joe Te'o
, who also rushed for a score. De La Salle finished with 414 yards to 210 for California.Concord (Concord) 40, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 37
It couldn't have been scripted any better for Ricky Lloyd, Concord's record-setting quarterback.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior who is headed to Southern Mississippi, got the ball with 2:55 remaining, down 37-34 and 78 yards from a poetic end to a remarkable and unlikely season.
In the Division
II title game at the Coliseum, Lloyd threaded the needle on a 21-yard
touchdown pass to Sitan Malupo with 16 seconds remaining, completing one of the
most amazing NCS title-games ever to give Concord (13-1) its first
"How else was it supposed to end?" Concord coach Brian Hamilton asked rhetorically. "The most prolific quarterback in Northern California history driving his team to the winning score in a championship game. Perfect."
Lloyd finished 21 of 34 for 325 yards
and five touchdowns, giving him 4,451 yards and 52 touchdowns, the yardage mark is a Northern
California single-season record.
"I just can't believe this," Lloyd said. "This is unbelievable. When I got in the huddle, I just told the guys to be calm and make sure you get out of bounds."
According to Hamilton, Malupo was in the lineup at receiver only because others were gimpy. Malupo made a nice grab about the 10-yard line, then tip-toed up the sideline and was never touched.
Lloyd's pass barely escaped the outstretched fingers of a Cotate defensive back.
"What a play (Malupo) made," Lloyd said. "I thought he was just going to go out of bounds. But he planted his foot and got up field. I'll never forget it."
Cotate (12-2) had taken the 37-34 lead on the second
touchdown pass of the second half from Poueu Peleti-Gore to Sean Fish. The game
featured six lead changes and more than 900 yards of offense.
Alec Pica rushed 24 times and 180 yards for Concord, and
Cotate’s nimble back Brian Dworkin countered with 133 yards rushing on 11
carries and three touchdowns, on a 72-yard kickoff return.