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NCS Championship: De La Salle vs SRV

San Ramon Valley had their second shot at De La Salle this past Saturday after losing to the Spartans during the regular season 40-3.  However, this meeting had a little more at stake, an NCS Championship as well as a bid to play in the CIF Division-I State Championship this coming weekend.

San Ramon began the game on offense but were forced into a punting situation early by a stout Spartan defense.  De La Salle took the following possession 70 yards on seven plays.  The Spartans moved the ball well with their rushing attack as well as two consecutive passes from Bart Houston to Anthony Williams for gains of nine and 31 yards.  The drive was capped on a scoring run by Tiapepe Vitale from five yards out which was the first of his six rushing touchdowns of the contest.  The Wolves’ offense settled down on their second possession and began to put together a nice drive with a good mix of running and passing.  Quarterback Zach Kline, connected with Justin Bangay on a 30 yard gain setting the Wolves up with a first and goal from the two-yard line.  On the next play, SRV’s scoring threat ended as what looked to be a bad exchange on a handoff which was fumbled and recovered at the 4-yard line by De La Salle’s Trevor Christiansen.

The second quarter began with SRV’s defense stepping up and forcing De La to punt.  San Ramon was forced into a three and out themselves after De La Salle’s Chris Olinger sacked Zach Kline for a big loss.  The Spartan offense came back to the field and began to march going on a seven play drive that was finished by Vitale’s second touchdown run from five yards out, giving the Spartan’s a 14-0 lead with 7:26 left in the second quarter.  San Ramon’s offense stalled on a 3rd and long when Chris Olinger came up with his second sack of the game.  After the Wolve’s punt, De La scored again this time on just two plays.  The first was a 45 yard pass from Houston to Joshua Jenkins which set up a 20 yard scoring run once again by Tiapepe Vitale.  SRV’s offense looked to show some sign of life as Kline hit Ryan Dunn for a 23 yard gain on 1st down but had the play called back on a penalty for an ineligible receiver down field.  Following that, the Wolves had to punt again giving De La the ball with good field position at the 47-yard line.  Therefore, the Spartan’s had to work quickly again, and after an 18 yard gain on a Houston pass to Michael Hutchings, Vitale scored for the fourth time on a six yard run giving De La Salle a 23-0 lead that they took into the half.

The third quarter started with a San Ramon onside kick attempt that the Spartans recovered.  De La Salle attacked the Wolves on the ground behind the hard running of Tiapepe Vitale and Joe Te-O.  Vitale scored his fifth rushing touchdown on the 7th play of the drive from nine yards out.  After trading a few possessions, De La Salle went a 10-play, 81 yard scoring drive that was capped by Vitale’s sixth and final rushing touchdown of the game and Vitale finished the night with 173 yards rushing.  Finally, the Wolves first score came on their next drive as Zach Kline hit three consecutive passes, two to Michael Tagliaferri and one on a beautiful 44 yard fade to Matt Turner to set them up at the 2-yard line.  Jordan Weiss took the handoff on the next play and plowed his way into the end zone for the score.  The Spartan’s ended the third quarter with a 71 yard touchdown run by David Riopelle who ended his night with 110 yards on the ground.  Eventually, San Ramon scored once more on an 11 yard run, by Jordan Weiss, to put the final score at 49-13.  Weiss finished with 77 yards rushing in the contest.

De La Salle takes their Northern California dominance to the Home Depot Center this weekend to take on Westlake Village High School in the Open Division Bowl game. Good luck to the Spartan’s and their coaching staff in their last step to becoming State Champions once again.  Congratulations to San Ramon Valley also on an outstanding season.

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