CONCORD, CA (Nov. 11, 2022) — De La Salle’s last historic “streak” is still intact after the Spartans won the showdown of Concord high school football powerhouses 42-6 in front of a packed Senior Night crowd at Clayton Valley Charter’s Gonsalves Stadium last Friday.
Now the Spartans are in their familiar No. 1 seed position as the North Coast Section playoffs begin this Friday evening. De La Salle, College Park and Concord High each head into the playoffs riding winning streaks that stretch back at least a month each.
De La Salle (7-3) will be seeking to remain unbeaten against NCS teams since 1991 when they host James Logan of Union City (7-3) in the opener of the NCS Open/Division 1 playoffs.
After losing to the Spartans, Clayton Valley Charter (6-4) is seeded third and will face a rematch with visiting sixth seed California – San Ramon (5-5) in another Open/Division 1 game. CVCHS defeated California 49-14 Oct. 21 in an East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division game as Clayton Valley was en route to its third EBAL league title in a row.
Because of the way NCS set up its top two divisions of football playoffs to comply with CIF rules changes, as the third seed the Ugly Eagles are actually the top seed of Division One. If games go to form, Pittsburg and DLS will meet next weekend in the Open Division final and the loser of that game will play the winner of the Division 1 bracket on the Thanksgiving Weekend for the right to move on in the CIF playoffs.
Pittsburg (9-1) has a lot of history with De La Salle. The Pirates, then coached by Herc Pardi of Clayton, are the last NCS school to defeat the Concord team when they beat DLS in the 1991 Section final at the Oakland Coliseum. Since then, DLS has won 31 consecutive times in their matchups, most of which have been in the playoffs.
Pittsburg native and De La Salle alumnus Victor Galli announced last week that he will be stepping down at the end of this season following 21 years as the Pirates head coach. This may be Galli’s best team led by 6-5 Miami-commit quarterback Jaden Rashada and a host of skilled players. Pitt’s only loss was 23-15 to Folsom, which also has a 24-20 win over De La Salle this season.
The Spartans finished the regular season with four straight victories. They have lost three times this fall to Northern California teams. Those three teams—Folsom, Serra-San Mateo and Saint Mary’s-Stockton— are 29-1 on the season with the only loss Folsom’s 17-12 defeat by Serra. They will be seeking a 30th straight NCS football championship this month.
College Park goes unbeaten in DAL Valley title run
College Park has endured an unusual past few weeks. On Oct. 21, the Falcons defeated winless Ygnacio Valley 84-0. In the wake of that game Mt. Diablo Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark met with the principals of College Park and Ygnacio and reviewed a tape of the game. He then suspended second-year head coach Travis Raciti and athletic director Jim Keck for the final two Falcon games of the regular season.
Among the reasons for the suspensions, Clark mentioned that the Falcons went for a two-point conversion leading 47-0 in the first half, left the starters in the game too long and got multiple penalties for excessive celebrating. He added that College Park did not adhere to the “operating principles of pursuing victory with honor” against another school in the district.
College Park (7-3) won those final two Diablo Athletic League Valley Division games easily over Mt. Diablo and Alhambra by a combined 101-12 score and are now seeded seventh in the NCS division 3 playoffs. The Pleasant Hill school won its first outright league title in 11 years and now travel to second seed Windsor (8-2), North Bay – Oak Division champions Friday night. Raciti will be back on the sideline with his team Friday.
Also in division 3, there will be a rematch of the Battle of the Creek when fourth seed Las Lomas (5-5) hosts No. 5 Northgate (6-4). The Walnut Creek schools met Oct. 14 with the Knights scoring a 34-7 win over the Broncos in DAL Foothill play.
The fifth local team to reach the playoffs is Concord High. The Minutemen literally flipped their record from 1-9 a year ago to 9-1 this season. The only blemish on their resume is a 34-28 loss in the DAL Valley opener to College Park that cost Concord a chance at the title.
This Friday the Minutemen travel to Lafayette for a division 4 playoff matchup with Acalanes (9-1). Junior runningback Monte Beam was a breakout star for the Minutemen with 23 touchdowns while averaging over 200 yards a game.
Ygnacio Valley (0-10) finished its third successive winless season with a 47-6 defeat to Berean Christian last Saturday in their final DAL Valley game. The Warriors last won in their third to last game of the 2019 season, one where they were 7-4 overall and lost in the first round of the NCS playoffs to eventual Division 6-AA State champion St. Bernard’s – Eureka.
Mt. Diablo (3-7) missed out on the playoffs after a steaky season. The Red Devils lost their first three games, won the next three and then lost four in a row.
NCS Playoffs – Nov. 11
Open/Division I – James Logan – Union City (7-3) at De La Salle (7-3)
Open/Division I – California (5-5) at Clayton Valley Charter (6-4)
Division 3 – College Park (7-3) at Windsor (8-2)
Division 3 – Northgate (6-4) at Las Lomas (5-5)
Division 4 – Concord (9-1) at Acalanes-Lafayette (9-1)
Week 11 – Nov. 4-5
Concord (8-1) 42, Mt. Diablo (3-6) 7
De La Salle (6-3) 42, Clayton Valley Charter (6-3) 6
Acalanes (8-1) 33, Northgate (6-3) 14
College Park (6-3) 47, Alhambra (4-5) 6
Berean Christian (5-4) 47, Ygnacio Valley (0-9) 6
2022 Season Schedules
Clayton Valley Charter 6-4, 4-0 (Open Div./Div. 1) – 8/26 Salinas L 14-21, 9/2 Del Oro-Loomis L 27-31, 9/9 at Canyon Springs-North Las Vegas W 42-6, 9/16 Turlock L 35-37, 10/1 at Jesuit-Carmichael W 35-21, 10/7 at Amador Valley-Pleasanton W 47-14, 10/14 at San Ramon Valley-Danville W 42-28, 10/21 California-San Ramon W 49-14, 10/28 at Monte Vista-Danville W 55-6, 11/4 De La Salle L 6-42.
College Park 7-3, 5-0 (Div. 3) – 9/2 at Foothill-Pleasanton L 12-28, 9/9 Oakmont-Roseville W 21-13, 9/16 Hercules W 44-6, 9/23 at Northgate L 14-28, 9/30 at Livermore L 8-35, 10/7 Concord W 34-28, 10/15 at Berean Christian W 42-25, 10/21 Ygnacio Valley W 84-0, 10/28 Mt. Diablo W 54-6, 11/4 at Alhambra W 47-6.
Concord 9-1, 4-1 (Div. 4) – 8/26 Newark Memorial-Newark W 14-7, 9/2 Alameda W 30-8, 9/9 at San Lorenzo W 37-0, 9/16 at Richmond W 2-0, 9/23 Arroyo-San Lorenzo W 28-6, 10/7 at College Park L 28-34, 10/14 Ygnacio Valley W 54-8, 10/21 at Alhambra W 14-7, 10/28 Berean Christian W 34-12, 11/4 at Mt. Diablo W 42-7.
De La Salle 7-3 (Open Div./Div. 1) – 8/26 at Monterey Trail-Elk Grove W 36-20, 9/2 Serra-San Mateo L 21-24, 9/9 Saint Francis-Mountain View W 35-3, 9/16 at Cathedral Catholic-San Diego W 28-20, 9/23 Folsom L 20-24, 10/7 at St. Mary’s-Stockton L 35-45, 10/14 at California-San Ramon W 41-7, 10/21 Monte Vista–Danville W 41-3, 10/28 at Amador Valley-Pleasanton W 27-7, 11/4 at Clayton Valley Charter W 42-6.
Mt. Diablo 3-7, 1-4 (Div. 4) – 8/26 Lathrop L 0-56, 9/9 at American-Fremont L 0-48, 9/17 at Arroyo-San Lorenzo L 0-28, 9/24 at San Lorenzo W 27-6, 9/30 at Richmond W 35-14, 10/7 at Ygnacio Valley W 35-28, 10/14 Alhambra L 0-35, 10/21 Berean Christian L 20-49, 10/28 at College Park L 6-54, 11/4 Concord L 7-42.
Northgate 6-4, 1-4 (Div. 3) – 8/26 Deer Valley W 29-8, 9/2 at Ukiah W 28-6, 9/9 Fremont-Oakland W 9-0, 9/16 at Bethel-Vallejo W 38-0, 9/23 College Park W 28-14, 10/7 Miramonte-Orinda L 35-43, 10/14 Las Lomas L 7-34, 10/21 at Campolindo-Moraga L 7-50, 10/28 at Benicia W 9-7, 11/4 Acalanes-Lafayette L 14-33.
Ygnacio Valley 0-10, 0-5 (Div. 6) – 8/27 at Washington-San Francisco L 14-49, 9/9 Justin-Siena – Napa L 0-42, 9/16 at Kennedy-Fremont L 12-50, 9/23 Bradshaw Christian-Sacramento L 0-48, 9/30 Stone Ridge Christian-Merced L 6-38, 10/7 Mt. Diablo L 28-35, 10/14 at Concord L 8-54, 10/21 at College Park L 0-84, 10/28 Alhambra L 12-31, 11/5 at Berean Christian L 6-47.
Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.