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Servite hopes loss will be instructive

Friars fall to reigning Open Division state bowl champion Concord De La Salle, 35-10, with Trinity League play around the corner.

October 05, 2013|By Steve Galluzzo
  • Servite quarterback Travis Waller, shown playing Edison last month, had a frustrating night Saturday during a 35-10 loss to Concord De La Salle.
Servite quarterback Travis Waller, shown playing Edison last month, had… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

With the start of Trinity League play on the horizon, Anaheim Servite could not have asked for a tougher nonleague test than the one it got Saturday night at Santa Ana Stadium.

Now the question is how many lessons the Friars will learn from their humbling 35-10 defeat at the hands of reigning Open Division state bowl champion Concord De La Salle, which is ranked No. 1 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports. 

It was a frustrating night for quarterback Travis Waller, who was tackled for a loss on fourth and one at the Spartans' three-yard line on the first play of the second quarter and had two passes intercepted -- the first inside the De La Salle five-yard line. He finally connected with Tony Brown in the corner of the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown with 2:13 remaining in the game for Servite's only touchdown.

"You can't make mistakes against a team like De La Salle and expect to win... simple as that," Servite Coach A.J. Gass said. "We couldn't execute when we needed to early. Give them credit, they made plays. We need to put this behind us quickly."

The Friars thought they had scored in the final seconds of the second quarter when Equanimeous St. Brown made a leaping catch in the end zone, but offensive pass interference nullified the touchdown. Andrew Acosta then missed a 42-yard field goal attempt. Acosta made a 35-yard attempt for Servite's first points early in the fourth quarter. 

De La Salle was in command from the start, marching 80 yards for a touchdown on its first drive, then recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and scoring two plays later on John Velasco's four-yard run to take a 14-0 lead before Servite's offense touched the ball. 

Nick Loppicola rushed 14 times for 91 yards and Waller completed 14 of 26 passes for 121 yards for Servite (3-2), which opens Trinity League play against rival Santa Ana Mater Dei in six days at Angel Stadium. The Friars, ranked ninth in the Southland by The Times, trailed 28-0 at halftime despite three trips inside De La Salle's 20-yard line. 

"We were deep in their territory five or six times -- you can't get much better than that," said Waller, who also ran 12 times for 51 yards. "There's a lot we can take from this game even though we didn't win."

Velasco rushed for 148 yards and four touchdowns in 19 carries and Antoine Custer ran 11 times for 61 yards and a touchdown for De La Salle (6-0), which has won 60 consecutive games against California opponents since losing to Corona Centennial in the Division I state bowl game in 2008. 

"I'm proud that the whole team kept playing until the end, and if we just finish drives we can win," Waller said. "The next game is huge, there'll be a big crowd and we feel like we have something to prove."

A moment of silence was observed before the opening kickoff in memory of George Dena, who was Servite's head coach from 1961 to 1971 and created the school's trademark "Hut Drill." Dena died Sept. 20 at the age of 75. 

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