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De La Salle vs. Clayton Valley: One storyline
The last of De La Salle’s football streaks could end this week.
After 31 years without losing to an opponent within their own section, the Spartans are no lock to keep the run alive when they visit Clayton Valley Charter on Friday night to close the regular season.
If the streak doesn’t end Friday, there’s a chance Pittsburg could stop it in the North Coast Section playoffs.
Pittsburg is the last NCS team to beat the Spartans, on Dec. 7, 1991, in a section final at the Coliseum.
Since then, Clayton Valley is the only NCS team to put a blemish on De La Salle’s record.
In 2004, the teams tied 17-17.
De La Salle is 261-0-1 against NCS opponents over the past three decades, a mark that started with a 48-0 victory over Ygnacio Valley in the fourth game of the 1992 season.
The 100th game in the NCS streak also was against Ygnacio Valley, 35-0 to finish the 2002 regular season.
In the run, the Spartans are 31-0 against Pittsburg, 21-0 against Monte Vista, 20-0 against California, 18-0 against San Ramon Valley and 14-0-1 against Clayton Valley.
The closest call besides the tie was a 28-27 victory over San Ramon Valley in 2016.
The most famous of De La Salle’s streaks – a national-record 151 consecutive victories – ended 18 years ago when Bellevue, Wash., beat the Spartans in the home stadium of the Seattle Seahawks.
De La Salle’s 30-year unbeaten streak against regional opponents fell last season in Mountain View against St. Francis.
— Darren Sabedra
De La Salle vs. Clayton Valley: Another storyline
Safe to assume De La Salle isn’t thinking about any streaks this week. In an up-and-down season for the Concord program, one that has included three losses to Northern California opponents, the Spartans (6-3) are still trying to find the right mix before the playoffs start.
The winner Friday is expected to join Pittsburg as a top-two seed in the eight-team NCS Open/Division I playoffs.
The format of the bracket is anything but traditional.
When the California Interscholastic Federation issued a mandate three years ago that only section champions could play in football regionals, the NCS created a path for teams such as Pittsburg and Clayton Valley to advance without having to beat De La Salle.
The top two seeds are placed in the upper half of the Open/D-I bracket, with No. 1 playing No. 8 and No. 2 playing No. 7.
The expectation is that 1 and 2 would meet in the second week of the playoffs in the Open final, with the winner moving on to the regionals and the loser facing the survivor in the bottom half of the bracket (presumably the No. 3 seed) for the D-I championship and a second regional spot.
A Clayton Valley victory over De La Salle on Friday would turn that bracket upside down.
The loser of the NCS Open final – Clayton Valley or Pittsburg – would probably have to beat De La Salle in the D-I final to advance.
Don’t think the NCS had that possibility in mind when it introduced the Open/DI bracket last season.
– Darren Sabedra
Archbishop Mitty: What a turnaround
If Mitty’s Danny Sullivan goes on to a long and successful career as the school’s coach, he’ll have this year’s senior class to thank.
It was this class that didn’t walk away from football when as sophomores they had to take their lumps on varsity during the pandemic-shortened spring 2021 season.
The struggles continued a few months later as Mitty finished the fall 2021 season with one win, 35-34 over Mountain View.
Now, behind seniors such as wide receiver Danny Scudero and quarterback Wills Towers, the Monarchs are aiming for an eighth victory and a second-place finish in the West Catholic Athletic League when they play St. Francis on Friday night at Foothill College.
Appropriately, it is Senior Night for Mitty.
“I keep saying it over and over, this group is special,” Sullivan said. “The amount of losing that they’ve dealt with, the amount of lumps that they’ve taken, I think anyone would be easy to say, ‘I don’t want to this anymore.’ It was that tough.
“You ask this group in the spring COVID year that, hey, you need to come up and play against these way bigger dudes when you’re sophomores just to have a varsity season when all they wanted to do was play a JV season on their own. Oh, and you get to play Valley Christian, St. Francis and Bellarmine. So good luck. But they stuck with it and they believe in each other, which is just huge.”
The Monarchs (7-2, 4-2) have beaten Valley Christian and Bellarmine this season.
A win Friday would be the program’s first sweep of WCAL’s southern schools since 2013.
— Darren Sabedra
Campolindo: How this team maximizes its talent
Campolindo is a victory over Miramonte on Friday night from the outright Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division championship. The Cougars clinched no worse than a share of the title with a 42-21 win over Las Lomas last weekend.
“Going into this game, we tried to stay calm and cool and collected knowing what our record is,” wide receiver Robbie Mascheroni Jr. said after the Las Lomas game. “We try to play every game like we’re 0-0, and that we’re trying to go 1-0 every week.”
While Mascheroni (13 receiving touchdowns) is the unquestioned top target in the Campo offense, he is far from a one-man show. Senior quarterback Dashiell Weaver also has trust in teammates such as senior wingback/slot receiver Lucas Concepcion, who had 50 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on Friday.
“It feels good playing in this offense because you’re doing your part,” Concepcion said. “You’re making reads on where the offensive line is getting people out of the way for you.”
If Campolindo defeats Miramonte, a school that lost to Acalanes 53-28 on Friday, it will become the first Campo team since the stacked 2014 squad to go 10-0 in the regular season.
But while this year’s team doesn’t quite have the star power that the 16-0 state championship-winning team had in Tyler Petite (USC) and Max Flower (Cal), coach Kevin Macy quipped that it still has the blueprint for a title run.
“We like to say that we have the two big names in Dashiell and Robbie, and then we have a lot of little contributors,” Macy said. “We’ve squeezed everything we can out of every kid.”
— Joseph Dycus
Del Mar: “Pro 28 sweep right” brings smiles
On Thursday night, Del Mar running back Jason Kobara received a handoff at the Evergreen Valley 20-yard line, followed his blockers around the right side and scored a touchdown before being swarmed by dozens of cheering teammates and coaches.
Kobara, who has cognitive learning challenges, had practiced the play — “pro sweep 28 right” — for weeks in preparation for that moment. Read about his moment here.
— Joseph Dycus
Peek ahead to Week 11
Pioneer (8-1) at Branham (8-1), 7 p.m.: Winner take all for BVAL Santa Teresa-Foothill Division title.
De La Salle (6-3) at Clayton Valley Charter (6-3), 7 p.m.: Will this be the night an NCS team beats DLS?
St. Francis (6-3) vs. Archbishop Mitty (7-2) at Foothill College, 7 p.m.: The winner will likely finish second in WCAL — St. Francis has an outside shot at tying Serra for first — and lock up a home game in CCS Division I playoffs.
Christopher (8-1) at Live Oak (8-1), 7 p.m.: Live Oak holds a one-game lead over Christopher and Lincoln-San Jose in BVAL Mt. Hamilton Division.
St. Mary’s-Berkeley (9-0) at St. Patrick-St. Vincent (8-0), 7 p.m.: TCAL Stone Division championship on the line.
Los Gatos (7-2) at Menlo-Atherton (5-4), 7 p.m.: Los Gatos’ final tuneup before CCS Division I playoffs.
Sacred Heart Cathedral (6-3) at Serra (9-0), 7 p.m.: Serra captures outright WCAL title with a win.
— Darren Sabedra