"It was the longest school day of my life," Cecil said. "I was just so anxious to show what I could do."
After the game, a 24-0 win by the Student Sports FAB 50 No. 1 team that upped its national record to 126 straight victories since 1991, the anxious moments didn't go away.
But Cecil's efforts weren't the reason for the uncertainty. It had more to do with the injured left ankle of star De La Salle running back Maurice Drew.
Drew, among the top running backs on the West Coast, keyed the win vs. Mitty with 10 carries for 128 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown. His 65-yard punt return for a score was even more impressive as Drew weaved through tacklers several times.
But on a screen pass from Cecil, which was the second play of the fourth quarter, Drew got rolled by a defender. He limped off the field and did not return. He was seen on crutches after the game with the ankle taped and on ice. He told one reporter he would be "alright" for next week's game against national power Honolulu St. Louis, but also was overheard telling bystanders he was getting an X-ray because "it might be broken."
Cecil said the injury might make Drew questionable for playing in Hawaii. "The coaches said they were not sure," he said. "Hopefully, it's just a sprain."
Mitty, which won its opening game one week ago 46-8 over Gunderson of San Jose, almost scored on its third play when quarterback Danny Dressman found room running to his right and went 47 yards down the sideline. That turned out to be the Monarchs' longest play of the night as the Spartan defense stiffened and Mitty turned the ball over on downs.
De La Salle went 77 yards in just three plays on its first possession of the season. Drew's 51-yard scoring run featured a spin move 15 yards downfield that sprung him the rest of the way.
After Dressman threw an interception to Jackie Bates later in the quarter, the Spartans posted their second touchdown of the season on a 17-yard run by Gino Ottoboni.
It was 21-0 early in the second quarter after Drew's 65-yard punt return and the score increased to 24-0 before halftime on a 33-yard field goal by Tony Binswanger.
In the second half, Mitty's defense turned back the Spartans twice on long drives that netted no points but burned a lot of clock. The Monarchs wound up allowing only 222 total yards and just 14 points to the DLS offense. That's one of the best defensive efforts, statistically, in the 11 years of the win streak.
De La Salle's defense was even better. Backed up by perhaps the best secondary in school history, the Spartans only gave up 10 yards passing and 142 rushing. Take away the 47-yard run early on and it was less than 100 yards the rest of the game.
"We played very well defensively and we made a great drive at the beginning, but we couldn't convert," said Mitty coach Dave Brown, whose team went 12-1 in 2001. "All week long I told them if we don't tackle (Drew) we'd be in trouble. You've got to wrap him up and we couldn't do it."
Unfortunately for De La Salle, the only wrapping up regarding Drew on the night turned out to be the one around his ankle.
Note: Check StudentSports.com and CalHiSports.com all next week for writeups of the First Hawaiian Bank Football Classic from Hawaii.