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De La Salle Stops Mission Viejo

October 08, 2006|Chace Bryson | Special to The Times

CONCORD — When it comes to stopping the offense of the Concord De La Salle High football team, it's all about picking one's poison.

On Saturday night, the Spartans didn't give visiting Mission Viejo a choice as they served the Diablos a concentrated dose of Tim Maupin and Tillman Pugh. Maupin and Pugh combined to rush for 336 yards and five touchdowns as De La Salle defeated Mission Viejo, 35-28, in a nationally televised nonleague matchup between two of the top-five teams in the state.

Maupin finished with 206 yards in 26 carries and Pugh rushed 14 times for 130 yards.

De La Salle (5-0) entered the game ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today, and No. 1 in the state by Mission Viejo (3-2) came in at No. 5 in the rankings.

The Diablos were making a bid to become the first team to beat the Spartans three straight times during De La Salle Coach Bob Ladouceur's 29-year tenure. With victories in 1979, 1981 and 1983, Richmond Salesian is the only team with three wins against the Ladouceur-coached Spartans.

Mission Viejo won, 17-14, at De La Salle in 2004 and withstood a spirited effort from the visiting Spartans to win, 36-26, in 2005.

After mustering only six first downs in the opening half, Mission Viejo opened the second half with the ball and appeared to build momentum by passing.

But the De La Salle defense came up with a big play when Bryon Colbert intercepted a tipped ball on the Spartans 21-yard line. The offense wasted no time in taking advantage. Six plays later, Pugh took a pitch around the left end and streaked 29 yards down the sideline for a 28-14 Spartans lead.

Except for a fumble deep in Diablos territory, the Spartans dominated the second half. De La Salle stretched its lead to 35-14 with 6:43 left when Pugh broke free for his third touchdown of the game, this one from 43 yards.

Following Pugh's touchdown, Mission Viejo turned to backup quarterback Allan Bridgeford for a spark and the sophomore delivered. Bridgeford led the Diablos 80 yards and connected on a three-yard touchdown pass to John Hunt to pull the the Spartans within 35-21 with 3:35 left. Bridgeford tacked on a second touchdown pass with two seconds to go.

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