With 15 minutes to kickoff at Friday night’s North Coast Section Division I semifinal at , there was no sign of Pittsburg.
Four quarters later, some might say that never changed.
De La Salle scored all of its points in the first half as its tuned up for the NCS championship with a 48-0 rout.
The Pirates warmed up at Concord High and arrived shortly before kickoff courtesy of a police escort from of the Pittsburg Police Department.
“We saw that, but we we’re just focused on what we were doing,” De La Salle running back Joe Te’o said.
With an interception on a wide receiver-pass on its first drive, top-seeded De La Salle (11-1) wasn’t off to an ideal start, but that quickly changed. Pittsburg’s first play was a completion that went for 19 yards, but it ended with a lost fumble. Five plays later, Wisconsin-bound quarterback Bart Houston scored on a 1-yard keeper.
From there, there was no stopping the Big Green Machine. Houston was 4 of 5 for 73 yards, but the passing game wasn’t a necessity. The Spartans ran for most of their 321 yards in the first half and limited Pittsburg to 11 yards rushing.
“The plan was just to run it down their throat,” said De La Salle running back Tiapepe Vitale, who ran for a game-high 98 yards on 11 carries. Vitale scored on runs of 4, 27 and 1 yard.
The game was out of hand by the end of the first quarter with De La Salle leading 21-0, but the exclamation point came on the first play of the second quarter when David Moffitt recovered a fumble in the end zone to make it a four-score game.
Since losing to Pittsburg in the NCS 3A finals in 1991, De La Salle has won 19-straight NCS titles and hasn’t lost to a team from Northern California in 222 games.
De La Salle will play the winner of today’s other semifinal between No. 7 San Ramon Valley (9-3) and No. 6 Monte Vista (8-4) at O.Co Coliseum on Saturday.