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De La Salle stuns Loyola, 27-21

A 75-yard return of a missed field goal leads to the winning score by the Northern California power in the final minutes.

September 21, 2008|Eric Sondheimer | Times Staff Writer

There was disbelief, if not shock, from Los Angeles Loyola players as they left the field Saturday night trying to figure out how Concord De La Salle was able to rally for a 27-21 victory at Glendale High.

The Cubs (2-1), ranked No. 17 by The Times, did just about everything needed to win. They had no turnovers, committed few penalties and received 213 yards rushing and three touchdowns from Anthony Barr.

"We put together a plan and executed," Loyola Coach Jeff Kearin said.

The Cubs held a 21-19 lead with just over four minutes left and had consumed almost eight minutes of clock while driving from their own 20 to the De La Salle 16. Out came kicker Mauricio Alfonso to attempt a 33-yard field goal.

The kick came up short, and Derek Perio picked up the ball at the goal line and returned it 75 yards to the Loyola 25. Three plays later, quarterback Blake Wayne scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard run with 2:46 left, his third touchdown of the night.

It was another example of how De La Salle (2-0) once won 151 consecutive games -- by taking advantage of opportunities whenever they present themselves.

"That was pretty crazy," Kearin said. "It all comes down to they're a great team. All they needed was a crack in the dam."

Said Perio: "I was thinking, if this is short, I'm going to get it and make something of it. Our team just stepped up big time."

Loyola's defense was magnificent at times. The Cubs put together a goal-line stand in the second quarter in which three times De La Salle tried to run the ball in from the one-yard line and couldn't score.

And then there was Barr, a 6-foot-4, 223-pound junior with scholarship offers from USC, UCLA and Notre Dame. He carried the ball 30 times and scored touchdowns on runs of 35, six and one yard.

Last season at De La Salle, Loyola lost, 55-14. The Cubs are much improved, but the question is how the team will react to this loss.

"We're going to build on this," Kearin said. "We came back from the De La Salle drubbing a better team, and we're better after this."

Next up for Loyola is another tough nonleague game Friday against unbeaten Bellflower St. John Bosco.

Loyola jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on two Barr touchdown runs. The Spartans started to shut down Barr and open up their offense. Wayne completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Michael Dosen on the first play of the second quarter to close to 14-7.

With just over a minute left before halftime, Wayne ran three yards for a touchdown on fourth down but the extra-point attempt failed, leaving Loyola ahead, 14-13.

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eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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