De La Salle Does It Again

The more things change, the more they remain the same and that saying definitely applies to Concord (Calif.) De La Salle, which won its 11th straight CIF Northern Section championship with a dominating 42-14 win over San Leandro (Calif.).

The numbers moved well beyond amazing a long time ago. With the win Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum, the Spartans upped their all-time nation-leading winning streak to 138 games with no end in sight.

This also is the 11th straight unbeaten season and they'll finish the year ranked No. 1 in the nation in the Student Sports Fab 50 poll for the fourth time in the last five years.

San Leandro came into the game 12-0 and had only lost three times in the last three years, each loss was to the Spartans in the section championship game. This year's game promised to be the most competitive in the series as San Leandro had played its toughest schedule in many years and had difference makers all over the field.

Unfortunately for the Pirates, the game got away from them early when All-American quarterback Maurice Drew on their first possession of the game. Drew returned the ball to the one yard line and quarterback Britt Cecil punched it in on the next play and the rout was on.

Dixon was picked off three more times in the half, one of which was returned for a touchdown by defensive lineman Kyle Balough and another pick by cornerback Damon Jenkins set the offense up at the Pirates 10 yard line which also resulted in a score. At halftime, the Spartans were up 35-0 and that was basically all she wrote.

San Leandro was able to get on the board in the third quarter when talented junior Sekeli Faaeteete scored on a one yard run to cap off a 19 play, 88 yard drive that took up much of the third quarter. Unfortunately when you're down by 35 points, time consuming touchdown drives aren't the best way to get back into the game.

Dixon would finish the night just 16-of-32 for 195 yards with four picks and no touchdowns. Sam Cheatham added five catches for 42 yards.

"This is the best secondary we've ever had here by far," Spartan defensive coordinator Terry Eidson said. "No team really challenged these guys and they were only beat deep once all season and that was the third game of the year against St. Louis (Hawaii)."

Running back Maurice Drew led the offense finishing with 138 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in his final high school game.

"To finish our season like this means a lot," Drew said. "I know I won't ever play with another group of guys like this the rest of my playing career. I never would have believed we would be able to beat San Leandro like this. We basically played a perfect game. We didn't make any mistakes out there and passed the biggest test of our season with flying colors."

Junior running back Jackie Bates, who will take over for Drew next year, added 48 yards and two scores on eight carries but it was really the defense that carried the team on this night.

"Our defense was unreal all season," Spartan head coach Bob Ladoucuer said. "This team worked really hard in practice the whole year. It wasn't just our secondary but our linebackers were very good and our defensive line got better every single game."

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