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High Schools | SOUTHLAND FOOTBALL REWIND

De La Salle Is Even Surprised by Victory

October 14, 2002|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

Several weeks ago, Concord De La Salle High coaches and players thought they had little chance to defeat Long Beach Poly, their new rival from Southern California.

The Spartans were undefeated but had sputtered through a couple of victories, including a 14-0 defeat of Mountain View St. Francis that marked the fewest points De La Salle had scored during its national-record winning streak.

"The kids knew we weren't good enough after three weeks [of the season]," Coach Bob Ladouceur said. "Nobody thought we could beat these guys."

Ladouceur's fears were quickly put to rest Saturday, when De La Salle drove 72 yards on its opening series for a touchdown and a lead it would never relinquish during a 28-7 victory over Poly at California's Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.

Running back Maurice Drew had a big game, as expected, finishing with 161 yards in 19 carries.

Equally impressive were quarterback Britt Cecil, who threw for his first three touchdown passes of the season, and a defense that limited Poly to a single touchdown, coming with three minutes left in the third quarter.

"We set a goal of [holding Poly to] 14 points," defensive coordinator Terry Eidson said. "We said, '14, we'll win the game.' "

The effort, which extended De La Salle's winning streak to 130 games, prompted Ladouceur to call it the "greatest victory" in the school's storied 23-year history.

"The kids played well beyond expectations," he said. "Everything good that happened, they worked for." For his part, Poly Coach Raul Lara isn't overly concerned about a letdown when his Jackrabbits (4-1) return to Moore League play this weekend. In fact, he said, watching De La Salle run roughshod over his team may have its benefits.

"It inspires me to get to that level," Lara said. "Maybe one day."

Lara said he is making sure his players keep the defeat in perspective.

"We do not lose or win a ring, we do not lose or win a championship, and we need to understand that," he said. "I tell the kids, 'Even if we won it, it still wouldn't mean anything if we didn't win the rest of our games and the [Southern Section] championship.' "

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Mission Viejo extended the Southern Section's current longest winning streak to 19 games with its 17-0 victory over Tustin.

The Diablos only need to win every regular season and playoff game for the next seven years, then advance to the championship game of the 2010 season to match De La Salle's current streak.

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Few teams have had a more successful platoon system than Los Alamitos, which rotated quarterbacks Justin Elway and Jeff Kline. But Elway suffered a slight shoulder separation in the fourth quarter of the 34-26 victory over Carson.

"It's not so bad right now," said Coach John Barnes. "Hopefully, he'll miss two weeks, max."

*

Covina Charter Oak, a Division VI team, has played three games this season against Division II Sierra League teams, and the Chargers have won them all.

Michael Perri completed 16 of 19 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown as Charter Oak beat Diamond Bar, 21-10, on Friday to hand the Brahmas their first loss of the season.

The Chargers (4-1) put it away when Ricky Isidro returned an interception 55 yards for the game's final score.

Charter Oak also defeated La Verne Damien, 19-14, for the Spartans' only loss of the season, and Glendora, 29-3.

*

Newbury Park scored 55 points ... and lost.

Simi Valley Royal overcame a 23-point deficit in the second half for a 58-55 Marmonte League victory on Friday.

"We have a very good offense and a very bad defense," Newbury Park Coach George Hurley said. "We only have 25 players, so a lot of things we do offensively are finesse things -- throw ball, score lot of touchdowns -- but we don't play defense very well.

"You could say our defense is offensive."

*

In the losing effort, Newbury Park quarterback Rudy Carpenter completed 31 of 61 passes for 507 yards and six touchdowns.

The 61 attempts is a Southern Section record, his 31 completions is tied for eighth-best all-time (the record is 36) and his 507 yards is the fifth-highest total in section history.

Royal's Kyle Uebelhardt was no slouch himself, completing 22 of 51 passes for 456 yards and four touchdowns. His 51 attempts is 10th-best in section history.

Staff writers Martin Henderson and Peter Yoon contributed to this report.

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