, a versatile and athletic 6-foot-1, 185-pound defensive back and receiver, returned the opening kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown setting the tone for De La Salle's 45th consecutive victory over a Sac-Joaquin Section team and fifth straight over the Bulldogs (6-1) before more than 6,000 fans at Prairie City Stadium.
The Spartans, who had their 318-game, 30-year unbeaten streak against Northern California teams snapped Sept. 10 in a 31-28 loss at Saint Francis (Mountain View), have never lost to a SJS squad. They raced to a 24-0 lead by midway through the second quarter and this one was essentially done.
"As soon as I got that ball, I knew I had to take it to the crib,” Berry, an Arizona commit, told Chace Bryson of SportsStars magazine. “As soon as I got it, I told my backers to go. And as soon as I
saw the gap, I was like nobody can catch me.”
The victory was powered by a tremendous defensive effort against an offense that averaged more than 50 points and 450 yards per game, plus two big plays from senior quarterback and first-year starter Luke Dermon
. As planned, the Spartans pressured prolific Folsom senior quarterback Tyler Tremain
all night, sacking him five times and forcing many hurried throws.
Tremain came in with 1,661 yards passing and 31 touchdowns. He finished 23-of-48 for 271 yards with one touchdown and one interception. De La Salle's defense came in much maligned after a 42-28 loss last week to the nation's No. 19 team, St. Frances Academy. They more than made up for it Friday as Folsom was held 42 points and 150 yards below season averages.
A 75-yard touchdown pass from Dermon to Cooper Flanagan
helped seal the victory after Folsom had closed to 24-10 early in the fourth quarter. On the next play from scrimmage, Dermon found the four-star tight end who outraced the Folsom secondary to make it 31-10.
Dermon made it 14-0 with a pretty inside run and 56-yard touchdown sprint with 5:10 left in the first quarter. It was the first quick start of the season for the Spartans, who had found themselves down two touchdowns in at least two games this season.
“A kickoff return, a stop and another touchdown is a pretty great
way to start a game,” De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh said. "That's a really good team we just beat. I was really happy with our defensive effort. I thought Coach (Nate) Kenion did a great job."
A punt block by Chase Tofaeono
set up a 6-yard touchdown run by Charles Greer
(17 carries, 86 yards) giving the Spartans a 21-0 early in the second quarter.
Following three straight extra points, Jordan Kennedy
drilled a 43-yard field goal, a career long, making it 24-0 midway through the second. Folsom kept a pulse with an 80-yard drive capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Tremain to D.J. Brown
, making it 24-7 late just before halftime.
Before Friday, De La Salle defeated Folsom four straight times by a combined 150-59 count, including 42-27 at Folsom in 2019. The other scores were 14-0, 45-17 and 49-15. The Bulldogs were confident they could turn the tables and perhaps represent Northern California in the CIF Open Division finals.
Now that spot appears up for grabs between De La Salle and Central Coast Section powers Saint Francis and Serra. Obviously, if Saint Francis wins out, it would have the edge over the Spartans.
De La Salle had its almost ridiculous 318-game, 30-year unbeaten streak against teams North of the Fresno region with a 31-28 loss at Saint Francis on Sept. 10. After a resounding win over San Diego power Cathedral Catholic 49-21, scoring 49 of the game's final 56 points, De La Salle was defeated soundly last week, leaving many to believe the Spartans, ranked fourth in Northern California, were vulnerable against the Bulldogs.
Clearly they weren't.
Folsom had been dominant all season winning its first six games by a 316-51 count. The Bulldogs had scored at least 54 in five of those games, but were held six touchdowns below that on Friday.