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De La Salle's Win Streak Ends

Concord, Calif., football team's record 151-game run concludes with a 39-20 defeat at the hands of Seattle-area school.

September 06, 2004|From Associated Press

SEATTLE — The 151-game football winning streak of De La Salle High in Concord, Calif., ended Saturday night when the Spartans lost to Bellevue (Wash.), 39-20, in front of 24,987 at Qwest Field.

It was the longest winning streak in the nation.

De La Salle had not lost a game since falling in the North Coast Section championship game Dec. 7, 1991, when the current seniors on the team were in kindergarten.

The Spartans surpassed the nation's previous longest winning streak of 72 games in 1997, going on to more than double it.

Coach Bob Ladouceur, who now has a 287-15-1 record in a quarter-century at the suburban San Francisco school, was gracious in defeat.

"The team we saw on film was not the team we played out there tonight," he said of the three-time defending state 3A championship Wolverines.

"Their coaching staff and players did a great job in every facet and gave us schemes we had never seen," he said. "We got beat by a better football team tonight. If we played them tomorrow, they'd beat us again."

Ladouceur said it was time for De La Salle to finally lose.

"I'm all for there being a lot of king of the hills, not just one," he said. "Bellevue represented their state well."

De La Salle got off to a solid start by moving the ball down the field 83 yards to score with relative ease.

But Bellevue senior J.R. Hasty took the ensuing kickoff 74 yards for a touchdown.

The Wolverines were motivated.

"There were all the Internet polls, the message boards where everyone said they were going to blow us out," said linebacker E.J. Savannah, who led Bellevue's defense with nine tackles.

Bellevue Coach Butch Goncharoff said his team was thoroughly prepared for the school's biggest game ever.

"This is a great feeling," he said. "We worked eight months for this. I don't think we were intimidated coming in.... "

The streak -- the longest in perhaps any sport -- created a near-cult following for Ladouceur. The program at the private, all-boys school has inspired two books, a documentary and national telecasts of games, and last month earned the Spartans a seven-page spread in Sports Illustrated.

The Spartans have often faced the top teams from California and around the country, drawing tens of thousands of fans. But De La Salle graduated 17 starters from the 13-0 squad of 2003.



Measuring Success

Concord De La Salle High's 151-game winning streak ended Saturday night. A look at the longest winning streaks in major sports:

*--* BASEBALL * 26...1916 New York Giants PRO BASKETBALL * 33...1971-72 Lakers PRO HOCKEY * 17...1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins PRO FOOTBALL * 17...1933-34 Chicago Bears DIV. I COLLEGE BASKETBALL * 88...1971-74, UCLA DIV. I COLLEGE FOOTBALL * 47...1953-57, Oklahoma


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