La Salle had overcome penalties, fumbles and a dropped interception in
its own end zone to take its first lead, 28-24 with 1:38 remaining on a
5-yard TD run by A.J. Bianchina
But Dougherty, who struggled in the second half, and Viliami Teu
(24 carries, 184 yards) led the Lancers on a remarkable 80-yard
touchdown drive. Dougherty came through with the completion of the game,
a perfect 34-yarder to Andrew Adkison
to the De La Salle 1 with 22 seconds left.
some of the Lancers thought it was a touchdowns and celebrated early.
They were flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty, putting the ball back
to the 16.
No matter. Dougherty found a wide open Andrighetto in
the middle of the end zone for the game-winning score, ending De La
Salle's streak which began in 1992 after losing in the 1991 North Coast
Section 3A championship game to Pittsburg. Over the next 30 seasons the
Spartans won or tied every game against opponents north of Clovis, a
A stadium filled with St. Francis fans, students, parents and alumni alike, celebrated wildly. It was alumni week on the St. Francis campus. Andrighetto, who caught the game-winner, is the fourth and last brother to play in the program.
St. Francis coach Greg Calcagno, whose dad Ron coached the Lancers, helping the team to the most Central Coast Section titles (17) in section history, has been around the program since he was 3-years-old. He's now 57. This might have been the program's biggest victory yet.
A 48-0 loss at De La Salle in 2019 when most of the current seniors were sophomores, all played a part of the historic, emotional victory.
"It was electric," Calcagno said. "Our fans were rocking it. It was an amazing atmosphere and our guys never gave in and battled to the finish. It was all very special. It was a good day to be a Lancer."
Asked how the Lancers got over the hump, Calcagno said. "We obviously played very well up front. We did mostly what we wanted to do. We played very well defensively. And all the kids stepped up, including some unlikely guys who came through at the end when we got all banged up."
What did he tell Dougherty and his troops once De La Salle took its first lead and most every one figured the Lancers were victim No. 319 in the streak.
"Just do what we've done at practice and what we've done most of the game," Calcagno said. "We had about two timeouts and about 1:20 left. We knew De La Salle was going to play to the finish. It's hard for 17- and 18-year-old kids not to get overly emotional in that spot. But they kept their heads. Kept their confidence and intensity. And they pulled it out. Couldn't be prouder."
The game-winning score was the third TD pass of the night for the junior quarterback, two going to Tim Netane
to help Saint Francis take a 24-7 lead early in the third quarter.
But a 94-yard kickoff return for touchdown by Arizona-bound Ezekiel Berry
gave De La Salle momentum. Quarterback Luke Dermon
capped a 65-yard drive with a one-yard TD sneak to close the gap to 24-21 late in the third quarter.
La Salle was going in for its first lead midway through the fourth but
lost its third fumble, this one inside the 5, giving the ball back to
the Lancers. A three-and-out and short punt gave De La Salle a short
field and Bianchina gave the Spartans their first lead.
the Lancers would not be denied. Utilizing their big, physical and talented lines,
De La Salle didn't get its usual push and at times were pushed around.
"I love my team," Andrighetto told Darren Sabedra of the San Jose Mercury News
. "We were just trying to break the streak. We did it."
La Salle's most famous streak is the nation's best overall win streak
of 151 games, which lasted from 1992-2004. That streak was ended by
Bellevue (Wash.), which ran past the Spartans, 39-20. After that loss,
De La Salle coaches offered no excuses. Just like they didn't on Friday.
give them all the credit in the world," De La Salle coach Justin
Alumbaugh told Sebadra. "They showed up prepared and fired up and
physical. They were the better team tonight. ... They're a great team,
and they beat us tonight. It's not like one of those, 'Well, we should
have.' No, they beat us."
Calcagno was appreciative of how the Spartans handled the rare defeat. But it didn't surprise him.
"What they've done to maintain that streak for three decades is simply unbelievable," he said. "They've
never ducked anyone. They've done it with class and dignity and they
were sheer class (Friday) from the start to the end."
Saint Francis 31, De La Salle 28
De La Salle 0 7. 14. 7. — 28
Saint Francis.14.7. 3. 7. — 31
SF — Tim Netane 16 pass from Matthew Dougherty (Matthew Karic kick)
SF — Viliami Teu 10 run (Karic kick)
DLS — Zeke Barber 9 run (Jordan Kennedy kick)
SF — Netane 30 pass from Dougherty (Karic kick)
SF — FG, Karic 22
DLS — Zeke Berry 94 kickoff return (Kennedy kick)
DLS — Luke Dermon 1 run (Kennedy kick)
DLS — AJ Bianchina 5 run (Kennedy kick)
SF — Nicolas Andrighetto 16 pass from Dougherty (Karic kick)
Total plays/yards: De La Salle 63-337, St. Francis 48-355.
Turnovers: De La Salle 3, St. Francis 2.
DLS (46-251): Charles Green 17-142, Barber 11-65, Bianchin 6-28, Damoine Perkins 3-8, Dermon 9-8
SF (33-233): Teu 24-184, Camillo Arquette 5-51, Dougherty 3-(-1), Josh Perry 1-(-1)
DLS: Dermon 8-17-0-86
SF: Dougherty 7-15-0-122
DLS: Cooper Flnagan 2-34, Berry 2-10.
Netane 3-49, Andrew Adkinson 2-45, Andrighetto 1-16, Dillon Golden