Mixed results for local schools during first three weeks of football season

Mixed results for local schools during first three weeks of football season

Mixed results for local schools during first three weeks of football season
Mt. Diablo High Red Devils game against Mission High school Bears a week ago. (Pete Cruz photo)

CONCORD, CA (Sept. 12, 2023) — There’s been some good, some bad and some ugly as the fall football season enters its fourth weekend for local schools.

Only College Park, with two wins for new coach Casey Moreno, is unbeaten in the early going. Mt. Diablo seemed on its way to a 3-0 start before losing late last Friday at Oakland Tech in the Red Devils first road game.

Perennial powers De La Salle and Clayton Valley Charter have each won only one of their first three games. Meanwhile, Northgate, a North Coast Section playoffs semi-finalist a year ago, and Ygnacio Valley are without a win in three outings.

Concord High’s first two games saw the Minutemen lose by a combined 90-0. Returning all-league back Monte Beam took things into his own hands last Friday scoring all 26 points as Concord prevailed over San Lorenzo 26-21.

Beam’s fourth touchdown and two-point conversion came with 11 seconds left in the game and his team trailing 21-18. Even after those heriocs, San Loreno then threw a mighty scare into Concord with a long pass completion that was stopped by Concord defenders inside the Minuteman 10-yard line.

Clayton Valley Charter’s new head coach Nick Tisa saw his Ugly Eagles shut out for the first time since 2016 last Friday in the Honor Bowl at El Dorado Hills to unbeaten Oak Ridge after CVCHS lost its home opener the week before to undefeated Higley of Arizona 37-27.

Turner turning heads

Herschel Turner, Mt. Diablo High School.

Transfer runningback Herschel Turner Jr. has been the area’s individual standout with 14 touchdowns in Mt. Diablo’s three games while rushing 40 times for 842 years, almost matching his season total last year for Freedom of Oakley. As a junior Turner scored 14 TDs and rushed for 911 years.

Since he was named the MVP runningback at an Under Armour Camp in Southern California this summer he’s been attracting interest from colleges. About 10 schools are now looking at the 247 Sports three-star back. New MD coach Fetuao Mua says he expects his prized offensive weapon will be a four star by the end of the season.

Last Friday, Oakland Tech scored at the 3:54 mark of the fourth quarter to pull ahead of Diablo 31-27. The Red Devils drove to the Tech 30 inside the last minute before turning the ball over on downs.

Sputtering Spartans rebound

Coach Justin Alumbaugh’s young De La Salle team is three weeks into one of the state’s most challenging schedules. The Spartans avoided their first 0-3 start in 48 years with a strong fourth-quarter effort at Saint Francis in Mountain View for a 37-17 victory. The Lancers were the team to halt DLS’s 30-year unbeaten streak against Northern California schools on the same field two years ago.

The Concord power lost its opening games to nationally ranked and top six state teams Orange Lutheran and rival Serra in San Mateo.

The 28-0 shutout to Serra was the first time the school was shut out since 2005 (7-0 to Clovis West) and was the largest shutout defeat in 44 years since Salesian blanked DLS 32-0 in 1979 when Bob Ladouceur was in his first year as head coach.

The legendary Coach Lad was in San Mateo to watch one of his star protégé’s, Patrick Walsh, coach Northern California’s No. 1 ranked Padres to their second successive win over his alma mater.

After facing three highly ranked teams the Spartans schedule doesn’t get any easier. Matchups include Saint Mary’s-Stockton (No. 16 in California), Folsom (No. 15), McClymonds (No. 62), San Ramon Valley (25) and Clayton Valley Charter (84) on their schedule.

2001 De La Salle team named America’s greatest ever

De La Salle 2001 football team. (Photo courtesy De La Salle High School)

The loss to Serra came in the same week that ESPN named De La Salle’s 2001 team America’s greatest high school football team ever.

ESPN released a list of their 50 greatest high school football teams of all-time topped by the 2001 Spartans. The team won the school’s fourth successive mythical national championship that year including the historic 29-15 win over Long Beach Poly (No. 50 on the all-time list). Two books were written about that game. It featured seven future NFL players including De La Salle running back Maurice Jones-Drew, now a coach and parent for his alma mater.

That 2001 Spartan team outscored its opponents, including Southern California powerhouses Long Beach Poly and Mater Dei, by a combined 531-65. In just two games this year’s DLS team surrendered 63 points.

De La Salle’s 2003 team, the one which completed the national record 151-game winning streak, is No. 15 in the all-time top 50, which restricted schools to a maximum of two entries on the list.

Week 4 Schedule – Sept. 15

Clayton Valley Charter (1-2) at Turlock (0-4).

College Park (2-0) at Antioch (2-1).

St. Mary’s-Stockton (3-0) at De La Salle (1-2).

San Lorenzo (1-1) at Mt. Diablo (2-1).

Washington-San Francisco (1-1) at Ygnacio Valley (0-3).

Northgate (0-3) and Concord (1-2) byes.

Week 3 Scores – Sept. 8-9

Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills (4-0) 28, Clayton Valley Charter (1-2) 0.

College Park (2-0) 49, Oakmont-Roseville (0-4) 14.

Concord (1-2) 26, San Lorenzo (1-1) 21.

De La Salle (1-2) 35, St. Francis–Mountain View (1-2) 17.

Oakland Tech (1-1) 31, Mt. Diablo (2-1) 27.

Twelve Bridges-Lincoln (4-0) 40, Northgate (0-3) 0.

Kennedy-Richmond (2-1) 48, Ygnacio Valley (0-3) 26.

Season Schedules

Clayton Valley Charter (Open Div./Div. 1) – 8/25 W 17-0 at Salinas, 9/1 L 27-37 Higley-Gilbert, AZ, 9/9 L 0-28 at Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills, 9/15 at Turlock, 9/29 Jesuit-Carmichael. 10/6 San Ramon Valley, 10/13 Foothill-Pleasanton, 10/20 Monte Vista-Danville, 10/27 at California-San Ramon, 11/3 at De La Salle.

College Park (Div. 3) – 8/25 W 14-0 at Fremont-Oakland, 9/8 W 49-14 at Oakmont-Roseville, 9/15 at Antioch, 9/22 Acalanes-Lafayette, 9/29 Miramonte. 10/6 at Campolindo, 10/13 Las Lomas, 10/20 Northgate, 10/27 at Benicia, 11/3 Alhambra.

Concord (Div. 4) – 8/25 L 0-41 at Newark Memorial-Newark, 9/1 L 0-49 at Alameda, 9/8 W 26-21 San Lorenzo, 9/9/14 Archie Williams-San Anselmo. 9/22 Mt. Eden-Hayward, 9/29 Alhambra, 10/6 Las Lomas, 10/13 at Ygnacio Valley, 10/21 at Berean Christian, 10/27 Mt. Diablo.

De La Salle (Open Div./Div. 1) – 8/25 L 14-35 Orange Lutheran-Orange, 9/2 L 0-28 at Serra-San Mateo, 9/8 W 35-17 at Saint Francis-Mountain View, 9/15 St. Mary’s-Stockton. 9/22 at Folsom, 9/29 McClymonds-Oakland, 10/13 San Ramon Valley, 10/20 Foothill-Pleasanton, 10/27 at Monte Vista–Danville, 11/3 Clayton Valley Charter.

Mt. Diablo (Div. 4) – 8/25 W 39-28 Deer Valley, 9/1 W 40-14 Mission-San Francisco, 9/8 L 27-31 at Oakland Tech, 9/15 San Lorenzo, 9/22 at Castlemont-Oakland. 10/6 Ygnacio Valley, 10/13 at Alhambra, 10/21 Berean Christian, 10/28 at College Park, 11/4 Concord.

Northgate (Div. 3) – 8/25 L 10-35 at Reno, 9/1 L 42-44 Tamalpais-Mill Valley, 9/8 L 0-40 Twelve Bridges-Lincoln, 9/22 at Miramonte, 9/29 at Las Lomas. 10/6 at Acalanes, 10/13 Campolindo, 10/20 at College Park, 10/27 Alhambra, 11/3 Benicia.

Ygnacio Valley (Div. 6) – 8/26 L 6-34 Alameda, 9/1 L 0-38 at Lower Lake, 9/9 L 26-48 Kennedy-Richmond, 9/15 Washington-San Francisco, 9/23 at Galileo-San Francisco. 9/29 at Pinole Valley, 10/6 at Mt. Diablo, 10/13 Concord, 10/20 at Alhambra, 10/27 Berean Christian.

Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | sports@pioneerpublishers.com | 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.