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De La Salle Beats SRV to Win 20th Straight NCS Football Title

The Spartans will likely play in the CIF State Open Division Bowl Game on Dec. 16.

For the football team, Saturday’s 49-13 win against San Ramon Valley in the North Coast Section Division I championship game must have seemed like nothing more than a formality.

Coming into the game, De La Salle had won 19-straight section titles and hadn’t lost 222 straight games against teams from Northern California.

“I really can’t believe it's 20 consecutive wins for NCS,” running back Tiapepe Vitale said. “We’re happy to be here and just hoping to go down to State and win it.”

The team is a virtual lock to represent Northern California in the California State Open Division Bowl game against Westlake-Westlake Village at the Home Depot Center in Carson on Friday. The official announcement is expected to come at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

“When you get into that game it’s anybody’s game,” De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur said. “We know we’ll have to play four quarters.”

The Spartans in last year's game.  

Vitale ran for 168 yards on 19 carries and scored the team’s first six touchdowns on Saturday. He scored on runs of 5, 5, 20, 6, 8 and 7 yards as the Spartans built a 42-0 lead.

It hardly came as a surprise.

When the teams met in the regular season, De La Salle , in which a running clock was used in the fourth quarter.

“Competing against a team from multiple cities versus a team from one city is too much,” San Ramon coach Mark Kessler said. “They’re an amazing program, no discredit to them, but you see it year in, year out — 20 straight — it’s not a fair playing field.”

Kessler’s frustration is common among coaches in the area, but with no realistic solution, the Spartans figure to continue dominating for years to come.

On how this year’s team compares to teams of DLS past, Kessler said: “I think they are workmen-like on offense, but they might not be as explosive as they have been in the past with 60, 70 yard runs again and again. But that defense, wow. As good as we thought they were last year, I think, as a team defense, I don’t know that there is any better. They just fly around and make plays.”

San Ramon quarterback Zach Kline, who was recently named the Gatorade California State Player of the Year, completed 19 of 33 passes for 294 yards.

Kline had been vocal about his desire to beat De La Salle but was gracious in defeat.

“It was everything our team wanted to do and we got here and it was a heck of a season,” Kline said. “Coming here and battling with my boys. They’re my brothers, I’ll remember this as an amazing season."

Kline also confirmed he will graduate from San Ramon on Friday and enroll at U.C. Berkeley for the spring semester, where he’ll take part in the football team’s spring practice. Rated the No. 3 pro-style quarterback recruit in the country by Rivals.com, Kline figures to have a chance to see playing time early in his career at Cal.

His counterpart in Saturday’s game, Wisconsin-bound quarterback Bart Houston, quietly completed 9 of 12 passes for 157 yards. Rivals ranks Houston as the country’s No. 12 pro-style quarterback.

With De La Salle leading 7-0, the Wolves got down to the DLS 2-yard line before a fumble gave the ball back to the Spartans. 

“More than keeping it close, it’d of given the guys some juice,” Kessler said. “Giving up that fumble took away a gritty drive. If you cash that in, it’s not going to change the outcome, but maybe you hang in there a little longer.”

David Riopelle ran for 123 yards on nine carries for De La Salle and scored on a 71-yard touchdown  run.

Jordan Weiss ran for 75 yards on 15 carries and scored both touchdown for San Ramon. The first was a 2-yard run to cut the deficit to 42-6, the second an 11-yard reception from Kline. 

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Boysnsports December 14, 2011 at 04:51 AM
Public schools can't hire extra coaches? Maybe not in Concord, Pittsburg, or other lower income areas, but please, give me a break, MV and SRVHS parents spend a lot of money making sure their kids have the very best. Who paid for the police escort SRVHS had to the coliseum? A little over the top don't you think? And be careful when you start talking about recruiting. I know for a fact that kids transfer from throughout the valley to go to MV or SRVHS for the sports programs. You may want to look at the kids on the LAX team at SRVHS. A lot of recruiting going on there. Careful the truth might come out.
Scott Kline December 15, 2011 at 05:19 AM
Sprtndad I am Zach Kline's dad. He absolutely did not mean that his team came to "have fun" and not to win. He was making the best of the situation and being positive for his teammates. To suggest otherwise is offensive. Lets just put that silly argument to bed. And the point is not that DLS "recruits"! I am quite sure that DLS does not have scouts on the roster who go find players. They do not have too - players come to them. The simple fact is that if a kid from Richmond/Antioch/SoCAl/etc. wants to come to SRV - he can't - and if he wants to go to DLS - he can. That is a fact and there is no argument about that - and that fact alone means the playing feild is not level. that is what our coach pointed out in his understandable frustration. There is no doubt DLS works hard and is well coached and has exceeded the results that many private schools have - no one argues that or wants to take anything away from them. But the point is that the kids at SRV this year, Cal last year, etc., worked hard within the rules at their school - ie local kids on the roster - and they have virtually zero chance to win a champoinship. That is what is not fair. I like DLS playing a schedule in EBAL - it raises the level of competiion in the league and benefits all teams involved. But DLS should not be able to play for the championship. That is all we are saying.
Scott Kline December 15, 2011 at 05:41 AM
To all - I do want to make clear that I am NOT trying to criticise DLS, its coaches, players or parents. I was a little fired up at the suggestion in the blog that Zach and his teammates didn't care or prepare to try to win. But upon reflection I am sure that was just some "imprecise" or unfortunate wording, and not the intent of the writer. DLS has a great program in every sport and the coaches are wonderful on a number of levels from everything I have heard and read. I wish them success in the State bowl games.
James Moon December 18, 2011 at 08:48 AM
It's not necessary to argue over recruiting - simply look at the statistics: Catholic schools (and other private schools) are disproportionally represented in national rankings. They Dominate rankings throughout the state and the country:: From Don Bosco, through DLS, Bishop Gorman, Servite, Mater Dei etc. - private schools are over represented in rankings on the order of 400%. Come up with your own reasons - JJmoon
Daddio February 20, 2012 at 10:54 PM
At yawane Thomas, first of all I personally know the Tautalatasi family. They are not from Alameda. They have been living in San Ramon ever since they moved from Hawaii in 2003. They do have relatives that were raised in Alameda & do not rent a shoebox apt in San Ramon. You should get your facts straight before commenting on a teenage boy and his family who are actually great hardworking people. Grow up and show some class

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