Is De La Salle vulnerable to losing its final historic streak with Section defeat in 2022?

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Oct. 20, 2022) — The word “streak” and De La Salle High School football are going to be inextricably connected until the end of time, or at least until high schools switch entirely to playing flag football.

“The Streak” refers, of course, to the 151-game undefeated run for the Spartans from the beginning of the 1992 season until 2004 when the steak ended. That season De La Salle lost three times and tied once in its first five games before rebounding to win its final six and the North Coast Section championship.

Not only did De La Salle High School of Concord, California gain a national reputation with that fabled, historic achievement, but a major motion picture “When the Game Stands Tall” and multiple books were spawned as well to burnish the story.

In the past two years De La Salle has seen a number of other remarkable streaks come to an end. After losing three of its first six games this year the Spartans had endured six losses in a span of 17 games.

During that time:

  • Its 318-game unbeaten run from 1991 against teams from north of Fresno was halted at Saint Francis of Mountain View.
  • Folsom defeated DLS in the Northern California Division I-AA Bowl Championship last December that ended DLS’s perfect mark of appearing in a State Bowl game every year since its inception in 2006
  • That was also the first time the Spartans lost to a California public school since 2008 in the State Bowl finals to Centennial-Corona, and the first defeat to a NorCal public school since the 1991 loss to Pittsburg in the NCS finale at the Oakland Coliseum.
  • The 2021 and 2022 seasons are the first time DLS has lost at least three games each in consecutive years since Bob Ladouceur took over the head coaching reins in 1979. And all but one of those six losses the past two seasons were to teams from NorCal.

Before fans of other schools get too excited however, remember that this season’s three losses have come against the only three teams in Northern California ranked higher than De La Salle—Serra-San Mateo, Folsom and Saint Mary’s-Stockton. Those three schools have a combined 22-1 record this year and the lone defeat was when Folsom fell 17-12 to Serra.

De La Salle’s unbeaten streak against North Coast Section teams since 1991 is still intact. The only time they did not defeat a Section foe head-to-head in that time was in 2004 when they tied Clayton Valley.

Ancient rivals Pittsburg and CVCHS might have their eyes on a chance to stop the Spartans from winning a 30th successive North Coast Section title this season.

Pitt’s only loss in seven games so far was to Folsom while Clayton Valley’s Ugly Eagles have rebounded from a tough 1-3 start to the season with three straight wins and will host De La Salle in the final game of the regular season.

Clayton Valley Charter football is turning its season around after a 1-3 start. The Ugly Eagles notched their third straight win last Friday 42-28 over San Ramon Valley and lead the East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division with a 2-0 mark. Jake Dern made the tackle on SRV’s John Pau Mendoza with teammates Josh Rodriguez and Joey Mourad closing in. (Photo courtesy Clayton Valley Charter football)

Clayton Valley has transitioned away from its near total reliance on a ground-oriented attack as this season has progressed. Pittsburg transfer quarterback Christian Aquilar has used his experience running a spread offense with the Ugly Eagles aggressive ground game to mesh with running backs Micah Avery and Nicholas Khashabi for the three straight wins while the team has scored 159 points in its past four games.

De La Salle and CVCHS have identical 4-3 records entering their eighth round of games and each face a pair of East Bay Athletic League opponents before their battle for Concord supremacy at Gonsalves Stadium Nov. 4.

This might be the year for a new king in North Coast, but high school football observers with long memories caution anyone counting out De La Salle when the post-season rolls around.

DAL championship in College Park’s grasp

First place in the Diablo Athletic League Valley División appears to be College Park’s for the taking. The Falcons edged Concord 34-28 two weeks ago in the league opener that also appears to be the league deciding game.

Over the final three weeks of the DAL season College Park (4-3 overall and 2-0 in league) faces three opponents with losing records.

Concord (6-1, 1-1) will be favored in its final three games as well but can only win all three to enhance its record in anticipation of a positive Division IV seeding for the NCS playoffs, barring a College Park upset loss.

Northgate got off to a 5-0 start, but the Broncos have lost a pair of games to start their return to the DAL Mountain Division and visit highly ranked and undefeated Campolindo in Moraga Friday evening.

Oct. 21 games

Concord (6-1) at Alhambra (3-4)

Berean Christian (4-3) at Mt. Diablo (3-4)

California-San Ramon (5-2) at Clayton Valley Charter (4-3)

Monte Vista–Danville (2-5) at De La Salle (4-3)

Northgate (5-2) at Campolindo-Moraga (7-0)

Ygnacio Valley (0-7) at College Park (4-3)

2022 Season Schedules & Results

Clayton Valley Charter (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, 10/28 at Monte Vista-Danville, 11/4 De La Salle.

College Park (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, 10/28 Mt. Diablo, 11/4 at Alhambra.

Concord (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, 10/28 Berean Christian, 11/4 at Mt. Diablo.

De La Salle (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, 10/28 at Amador Valley-Pleasanton, 11/4 at Clayton Valley Charter.

Mt. Diablo (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, 10/28 at College Park, 11/4 Concord.

Northgate (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, 10/28 at Benicia, 11/4 Acalanes-Lafayette.

Ygnacio Valley (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, 10/28 Alhambra, 11/5 at Berean Christian

Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | | Website

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.