Saturday night’s highly-anticipated heavyweight showdown between undefeated parochial school powers ended in a first-quarter knockout.
Concord De La Salle raced to a 19-0 lead less than eight and a half minutes into the game and cruised to a shockingly easy 48-8 victory over Anaheim Servite in the Open Division state bowl game in front of 10,283 rain-drenched fans at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
The Spartans’ resounding win was the exclamation point to a weekend dominated by Northern California teams, which won four of the five bowl games over the course of two soggy days.
When it rains, it pours, and although the slippery grass field seemed not to bother the Spartans a bit, Servite looked as if it were stuck in mud.
The game was all but over by halftime and so too was the Friars’ 25-game winning streak. De La Salle’s domination was so complete that Servite (14-1) didn’t gain a first down until 5:29 remained in the third quarter.
Servite’s first five possessions resulted in four punts and an interception. De La Salle’s first five possessions resulted in touchdowns. The last was capped by Lucas Dunne’s four-yard run and two-point conversion that increased the Spartans’ lead to 35-0 with 2:41 left in the second quarter. Dunne racked up 144 of his team’s 246 yards in the first half while Servite had a total of 22 yards in 18 plays.
Joe Te’o broke loose for a 68-yard touchdown on the first play of the second half, increasing De La Salle’s lead to 42-0. Servite drove inside the Spartans’ five-yard line with 4:09 left in the third quarter, but quarterback Cody Pittman was stopped short on fourth down. Dunne scored his fourth touchdown on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter to make it 48-0.
Servite, the Southern Section Pac-5 Division champion, averted the shutout on Pittman’s three-yard run with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter. He then threw to Robert Abeyta in the end zone for the two-point conversion. Servite’s rushing leader Malik Felton was held to 14 yards in nine carries.
Dunne ran the ball 28 times for 240 yards and finished the season with 40 touchdowns, a school single-season record, as the Spartans (14-0) extended their own winning streak to 26 games.
After Servite managed one yard on its first drive of the game, Dunne ended De La Salle’s opening march with a four-yard run to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead with 9:32 left in the first quarter. Dunne broke two tackles in the secondary on his way to a 37-yard score that capped a four-play, 76-yard drive on the Spartan’s second possession, but the extra-point was blocked.
Linebacker Michael Hutchings intercepted a Pittman pass at Servite’s 19-yard line, setting up Bart Houston’s one-yard quarterback sneak five plays later that put De La Salle in front, 19-0, with 3:39 left in the first quarter.
The Spartans, North Coast Section Division I champions, won their second straight Open Division game and improved to 3-2 in state bowls. De La Salle is the only team to play in a bowl game each year since the event’s inception in 2006.