De La Salle romps to section crown
Liberty High football coach Ryan Partridge had never been part of a De La Salle game.
He won’t remember his first too fondly.
With 42 unanswered points over the second and third quarters Saturday night, De La Salle erased a 7-0 deficit and turned it into a fourth-quarter running clock and a 42-7 North Coast Section Open Division championship victory at Dublin High.
De La Salle sophomore quarterback Dorian Hale rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another, and the Spartans had four interceptions as the program rolled to its 27th consecutive section title.
“It took us a little time to wake up,” said De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh, whose team had not played since Nov. 9 because of postponements caused by poor air quality. “I was happy with the way we responded, though.”
De La Salle (12-0) is all but certain to be named the Northern California representative to the CIF Open Division Bowl Championship when the section commissioners meet Sunday to decide bowl matchups. The Open bid would set up a rematch with Mater Dei-Santa Ana on Dec. 8 at Cerritos College in Norwalk. Mater Dei dominated last year’s matchup 52-21.
“We’re gonna go watch film in about an hour,” Alumbaugh said with a grin.
Liberty (11-1), which won its first section title last year, couldn’t have scripted the first 12-plus minutes of game action any better than it transpired.
Deizion Bartley intercepted Hale’s pass on the opening possession of the game and Liberty drove down the field and scored on a 6-yard pass from Jay Butterfield to Cody Muth. Then with a 7-0 lead, the Lions’ defense had a successful goal-line stand to open the second quarter, denying the Spartans on four plays inside the 8.
De La Salle began tilting the momentum midway through the second quarter when Hale scored on a 24-yard run on a 4th-and-4 play that was preceded by two Liberty penalties. The score tied it 7-7 with 6:06 left in the half.
The Spartans were back in the end zone three minutes later after getting the ball back on a Taveis Marshall interception. Shamar Garrett capitalized on the turnover with a 39-yard scoring run. De La Salle took a 21-7 lead into the half after a 33-yard pass from Hale to Grant Daley with 1:01 left.
“I thought we had a chance. We did have a chance, but we made mistakes.” Partridge said. “I take full blame for all those mistakes. We had a good plan put together … But you have to be so consistent against these guys.”
Chace Bryson is a freelance writer.