CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Sept. 12, 2021) — Another historic and most likely never-to-be-duplicated streak by the De La Salle football program came to an end last Friday night in Mountain View when the Saint Francis Lancers scored the winning touchdown with 16 seconds left for a 31-28 win over the USA’s 12th-ranked Spartans.
It was the first time since Dec. 7, 1991 that the Concord powerhouse lost a game to a California team north of Fresno. The Spartans were unbeaten in 318 consecutive games against NorCal opponents since coach Herc Pardi’s Pittsburg squad defeated them 35-27 in the Oakland Coliseum in the North Coast Section championship game.
Of those 318 games, there were 316 wins and ties in 2004 to Palma and Clayton Valley (also coached by Pardi). In the midst of that run, of course, was the 151-game winning streak of which a movie and at least three books have been written. It started with the first game of the 1992 season through Sept. 4, 2004 when the Spartans lost in Seattle to Bellevue.
St. Francis lost to De La Salle 48-0 in 2019. The year before when the Class of 2022 players were freshmen, the Spartans frosh team lost one game all season and that was to St. Francis!
‘They were the better team tonight’
De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh acknowledged that his team was second best last Friday and told the East Bay Times, “I give them all the credit in the world. They showed up prepared and fired up and physical. They were the better team tonight. … They’re a great team, and they beat us tonight. It’s not like one of those, ‘Well, we should have.’ No, they beat us.”
The fired-up home crowd of students, parents and alumni saw the Lancers go up 24-7 early in the third quarter. De La Salle TV reported that it was the first time the Spartans trailed a NorCal team by three scores since 1979 when Salesian of Richmond blanked DLS in the old Catholic Athletic League during coach Bob Ladouceur’s first season.
The Spartans came back last Friday overcoming fumbles, penalties and a dropped interception in the St. Francis end zone for a sure TD in the fourth quarter to take their first (and only) lead 28-24 with 1:38 left in the game.
Very few of the 318 games in the steak were even close and this time St. Francis had the winning answer as the Lancers drove 80 yards with senior runningback Viliami Teu making a huge run to put the ball in DLS territory and quarterback Matthew Dougherty throwing a 16-yard TD pass to Nicolas Andrighetto for the winning score.
Sports underway overcoming bad air, heat and pandemic
The last 18 months have been like no other for local high schools so who should have expected the 2021-22 school year sports schedules to be much different? A combination of late summer heat and poor air quality from the numerous wildfires gave school officials, coaches and their student athletes more challenges since athletics returned last month.
Concord High’s first football game of the season against Dougherty Valley was canceled due to air quality issues. De La Salle and Clayton Valley Charter had their first games delayed by one and three days, respectively. Northgate’s opener at Deer Valley was moved to Oct. 1.
De La Salle was scheduled to open its season in Stockton against St. Mary’s. The air quality was such that the Friday evening game couldn’t be played and it was rescheduled for Saturday morning. When the Stockton air quality wasn’t conducive for a game it was moved to Concord for 5 p.m. The unusual time was set in case they had to wait a while to ensure acceptable air quality index reading. Right before kickoff in 100 degree temperature the AQI dipped under the 150 limit.
Last Saturday on 9-11 at the Honor Bowl in Brentwood, Clayton Valley Charter edged Liberty of Bakersfield 14-13 with Ugly Eagles quarterback and co-captain Brenden Bush named Character Player of the Game. His senior classmates running back/linebacker Jordan Barbadillo and running back/safety Rahsaan Woodland II were the game’s co-MVPs.
Cross Country meets return
All fall sports except girls volleyball are contested outdoors so the air quality issues and extreme heat have been challenges for practice and games.
Cross country celebrated the return of the Ed Sias invitational in Martinez last Saturday after the bizarre 2020-21 season when “meets” were held on school campuses. Carondelet finished third in the girls small school varsity race as junior Mary DeMartini took fourth and sophomore Kendall Foxworthy 10th. Clayton Valley Charter girls were ninth in the large schools led by soph Skylar Bennett who was 13th overall.
On the boys side College Park was third and CVCHS seventh in the large schools race. Alex Walker and Daniel Messer were 18th and 19th for the Ugly Eagles.
Football Schedule & Results
Clayton Valley Charter 2-1 (Div. 1)- 8/30 W 35-23 at Turlock, 9/3 L 20-26 at Del Oro-Loomis, 9/11 W 14-13 Liberty-Bakersfield (Honor Bowl) at Liberty (Brentwood), 9/17 Stellar Prep-Hayward, 9/25 at Monterey Trail-Elk Grove, 10/8 at California-San Ramon, 10/15 San Ramon Valley, 10/22 Amador Valley (Homecoming), 10/29 Monte Vista, 11/5 at De La Salle.
Concord 0-2 (Div. 4)- 8/27 Canceled Dougherty Valley-San Ramon, 9/3 L 0-62 Marin Catholic-Kentfield, 9/10 L 0-25 Tokay, 9/17 at Deer Valley, 10/8 College Park (Homecoming), 10/15 at Ygnacio Valley, 10/22 Northgate, 10/30 at Berean Christian, 11/5 Mt. Diablo.
De La Salle 2-1 (Div. 1)- 8/28 W 52-16 St. Mary’s-Stockton, 9/3 W 68-6 Monterey Trail-Elk Grove, 9/10 L 28-31 at Saint Francis-Mountain View, 9/17 Cathedral Catholic-San Diego, 10/1 St. Frances Academy-Baltimore, 10/8 at Folsom, 10/15 California-San Ramon, 10/22 at San Ramon Valley, 10/29 Amador Valley, 11/5 Clayton Valley Charter.
Mt. Diablo 2-1 (Div. 4)- 8/27 L 26-49 at Lathrop, 9/3 W 50-0 at Albany, 9/10 W 16-6 American-Fremont, 9/17 at Dougherty Valley-San Ramon, 9/24 Oakland Tech, 10/8 Ygnacio Valley (Homecoming), 10/15 at Northgate, 10/23 Berean Christian, 10/29 College Park (Senior Night), 11/5 at Concord.
Northgate 1-1 (Div. 3)- 9/3 W 41-21 Ukiah, 9/10 L 22-45 at Las Lomas, 9/17 Bethel-Vallejo, 9/24 at Rodriguez-Fairfield, 10/1 at Deer Valley, 10/8 Berean Christian (Homecoming), 10/15 Mt. Diablo, 10/22 at Concord, 10/29 Ygnacio Valley, 11/5 at College Park.
Ygnacio Valley 0-2 (Div. 6)- 9/3 L 14-20 St. Patrick-St. Vincent-Vallejo, 9/10 L 0-39 at Rosemont-Sacramento, 9/24 at Bradshaw Christian-Sacramento, 10/1 at Stone Ridge Christian-Merced, 10/8 at Mt. Diablo, 10/15 Concord, 10/22 College Park, 10/29 at Northgate, 11/5 Berean Christian.gvbbbb0o9
NCS Playoffs Nov. 12-27
NorCal Regional Championships Dec. 3-4
CIF State Bowl Games Dec. 10-11
Cross Country (Boys & Girls)
DAL Center Meets Sept. 29 and Oct. 20
DAL Championships Nov. 6 (Hidden Valley Park, Martinez)
EBAL Championships TBA
NCS Championships Nov. 20 (Hayward High School)
CIF State Championships Nov. 27 (Woodward Park, Fresno)
DAL League Matches TBA
EBAL League Matches Aug. 17- Nov. 7
DAL League Championships TBA
EBAL League Championships Oct. 18
NCS Division II Championships Oct. 25
NCS Division I Championships Nov. 1
NorCal Championships Nov. 8
CIF State Championships Nov. 17
DAL League Matches Sept. 9 – Oct. 26
EBAL League Matches Sept. 2 – Nov. 2
DAL Division Championships Oct. 28-30
EBAL Championships Nov. 4-8
NCS Team Championships Nov. 9-13
NCS Singles/Doubles Championships Nov. 15-16
NorCal Team Championships Nov. 16-20
DAL League Games Sept. 7- Oct. 21
EBAL League Games Aug. 24 – Oct. 21
NCS Playoffs Oct. 26 – Nov. 6
NorCal Championships Nov. 7-16
CIF State Championships Nov. 19-20
Water Polo (Boys & Girls)
DAL League Games Sept. 22 – Oct. 27
EBAL League Games Sept. 2 – Oct. 28
DAL Division Championships Oct. 27-29
NCS Playoffs Nov. 3-13
NorCal Tournament Nov. 17-20
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.