De La Salle Finishes Season Unbeaten (and No. 1)

The lightning bolt after the game which knocked out power to Diablo Valley College's stadium was symbolic as it was lights out for every De La Salle opponent--and anyone hoping to overtake the Spartans for the No. 1 national ranking--as the NorCal team wrapped up another stellar season Saturday night.

Judging from the final score of 48-13, you might think it was just another romp for the Concord De La Salle football juggernaut in the CIF North Coast Section Class 4A championship game on Saturday night at Diablo Valley College.

But midway through the third quarter, San Leandro's undefeated team gave the Spartans some anxious moments.

After a poor punt snap rolled down to the De La Salle seven yard line, fullback Tau Faumuina pulled San Leandro within 20-13 on a tackle-breaking eight yard run.

As is custom in such situations, however, the De La Salle offense marched back down the field to regain a two touchdown advantage. After the San Leandro defense forced the Spartans into a fourth-and-two play from the four yard line, quarterback Matt Gutierrez pitched the ball to junior running back Maurice Drew, who scored on the play.

Drew finished with three touchdowns and rushed for 159 yards on 15 carries. He scored the teams first two touchdowns on runs of 29 and 41 yards. Gutierrez only completed three passes in wet weather not suited for throwing the ball, but one went for a 34 yard touchdown to Ryan Eidson and he also rushed for 57 yards on nine carries.

San Leandro's next three offensive series resulted in two interceptions and one total yard. De La Salle put the game away with a one yard run by Gutierrez, a six yard run by Alijah Bradley, and a 26-yard fumble return by senior defensive back Jon Alexander.

The victory pushed DLS's national record win streak to 125 games and wrapped up its 10th straight unbeaten season. The 10th straight section title also tied a state record. Bakersfield is the only other program with 10 straight section titles and the Drillers did it way back from 1920 to 1929. The Spartans are expected to be named the Student Sports FAB 50 national champions for the third time in four years after the Texas and Georgia seasons conclude on Dec. 22.

"The rankings are always up for debate," Gutierrez said, "but I don't know of anybody who played a tougher schedule than we did. A lot of the scores we had don't show how good these teams were."

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