De La Salle (Calif.) Looks As Good As Ever

The streak continues as Concord (Calif.) De La Salle dominated Long Beach Poly (Calif.) and cruised to an easy 28-7 win. The Spartans run their nation long winning streak to 130 games while the Jackrabbits drop to 4-1. Photo by Kirby Lee.

So much for all those knuckleheads who predicted a Long Beach Poly win (basically our whole staff).

The Spartans were even more dominant than they were a year ago and used an incredibly balanced offense in racking up 477 total yards of offense.

Poly's game plan was to stop Spartan running back Maurice Drew and make 1st year quarterback Britt Cecil beat them. Unfortunately for the Beach, they weren't successful on either end. Drew carried 21 times for 170 yards and Cecil came up huge completing 10-16 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns and also ran one yard for the opening score.

"We just wanted to show what we could do," Cecil said. "Our coaches noticed a couple of mismatches in their secondary and we were able to exploit it."

Up 7-0 in the second quarter, Cecil hit junior speedster Cameron Colvin with a 46 yard bomb to give the Spartans a 13-0 lead after the extra point was blocked.

The Spartans then started off the second half with a bang on a 99 yard scoring drive capped by a 74 yard Cecil to DeMontae Fitzgerald touchdown play that basically sealed the deal.

"Britt was key tonight," Spartan head coach Bob Ladouceur said. "We knew we had to throw to beat them but as it turned out, we were able to run the ball effectively as well.

"Our defense played great as well. It was a total team effort. They made some catches on us, but we kept them in front of us. I think this might have been the greatest win in school history. No one thought we could do this and we even had some doubts ourselves."

The Spartans finished out their scoring after stopping Poly on fourth down on the Jackrabbits' own 45 yard line. Two plays later, Cecil hit Terrence Kelley for a 36 yard touchdown with 3:36 left in the thrid quarter.

"Defensively, our plan was to take away the big play," Spartan defensive coordinator Terry Eidson said. "Poly has a lot of speed and scores a lot on one or two play scoring drives. We didn't want to get beat deep and tried to make them throw everything underneath."

Standout Spartan linebacker Parker Hanks gave a lot of credit to linebacker coach Justin Alumbaugh for the standout defensive performance.

"Before every play, we knew exactly what was coming," Hanks said. "Coach Alumbaugh prepared us so well all we had to do was go out and make the plays."

Poly got on the scoreboard midway through the fourth quarter when quarterback Leon Jackson hit running back Lorenzo Bursey for a 17 yard touchdown. Jackson finished the game 15-29 for 221 yards and the one score. The Spartans made it tough on Jackson blanketing Poly's receivers all over the field as All-State cornerback Damon Jenkins did a super job on junior speedster Derrick Jones.

"Maurce Drew was the difference tonight," Poly head coach Raul Lara said. "He was phenomenal. We worked all week on trying to stop him, but he was just too good. Their quarterback (Cecil) spread the ball around and made some big plays.

"I truly believed we were ready but the truth is, they're just a lot better than us. It's inspiring to see them play and I hope one day we'll get to where they are and can be as good as them."

The Spartans next biggest test will likely not come until the North Coast Championship where they'll likely meet San Leandro. San Leandro, led by quarterback Dennis Dixon has only lost three games in the last three years, all to the Spartans.

If De La Salle is able to run the table, it will win its fourth FAB 50 National Championship in the last five years. The win by the Spartans' also ended a potential dilemma of whether to leap frog No. 3 Poly over No. 2 Parkview (Ga.).

Oh, and for the record, not everyone picked Poly. Cal-Hi Sports founder Nelson Tennis had the Spartans winning by two touchdowns.

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