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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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BCL December 11, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Dear Spartan Dad, You are living in a dream world.When I was in high school, one of my closest friends was recruited by DLS. He was the top qb in the area and they came and offered him to go to DLS for free, because his parents could not afford it. Under some program or another. He was not Catholic either. His brother went to San Ramon, because he was not one of the top football players, no offer was given to him. Coincidence.... I think not. They do work hard and it is a tremendous program. However, they recruit and everyone knows it. Good luck next week but comparing DLS to any other public school is not apples to apples.
Sprtndad December 11, 2011 at 05:18 PM
BCL, what did the NCS say when your friend reported them? Exactly. Another anecdotal story from someone who knew someone. If you want to deal in facts rather than stories, contact the NCS and ask them. Kids do get financial assistance most of which don't play a sport. If you learn about the Lasallian's mission you will find that they educate the poor. While I'm at it, I neglected to mention that the DLS coaching staff is exceptional. So there you have it - work ethic, coaching, brotherhood. Maybe it was best summed up by Kline's remark about winning and how having fun was what mattered (paraphrased). SRV came to have fun, DLS came to win. Both got what they wanted and put in the requisite effort to get there. These are ALL high school boys irrespective of where they come from. There is no difference in what comes into any football program. They are all just 15 year old kids. Apples to Apples.
Jack December 11, 2011 at 05:31 PM
Spartan Dad - get real. You can believe all that stuff they tell you at De LaSalle. But really, just look at the funding. Public schools can't hire all these extra coaches. Athletes at DLS are forced to workout 50 weeks a year. And yes, they do recruit. Just imagine wahat a combined Alamo/Danville (MV/SRV) team would do anyways. DLS gets kids from all over.
BCL December 11, 2011 at 06:10 PM
Spartan Dad, Notice I am not attacking DLS. It is a great school that does a lot of great things. My friend did not report them. He had four great years there and went on to play college ball. He was given a great opportunity and he took it. To get top exposure and play on the best team, not many people that want to take football to the next level would pass on that opportunity. To say SRV did not want to win is just ridiculous. If having people the same age play against each other is apples to apples, why are there divisions in every level of sporting competitions. In college ball you do not take a D1 team and play a D3 team. They are all college players but on a different playing field. I am thankful DLS gives opportunities to some players that might not get recognized in lesser programs elsewhere. It is great the DLS gives financial support to students who do not play sports, they also give financial support to the best athletes in the bay area and search for that talent.
Doug December 11, 2011 at 06:22 PM
Spartan Dad - Put down the DLS Kool-Aid and take off the blinders. DLS may not be scheduling official recruiting trips, but the DO RECRUIT very subtlely. They ensure that great athletes from more disadvantaged areas can afford to attend DLS. They also hold football camps at which they can communicate with kids and the DLS network in the East Bay is very strong. If there is a very talented young athlete, DLS is very much aware of him and has the network to reach out to that family. DLS does have a great coaching staff, but If you really think that all things are equal when these kids enter high school, then you also believe in Santa Claus. Oops! Did I pop your balloon?
kevin herman December 11, 2011 at 06:41 PM
if you studied tehe DLS roster over the years you would see that most of the kids come from middle class areas and many from the SRV, i know alot of these kids, same kids as would go to SRV or MV but chose to go to DLS and pay15K tuition. Bottom line is they just work harder, watching film at lunch, time in the weight room etc. SRV has had many more D1 players with raw talent then DLS, look at how many from DLS play D1, not many, but as a team they come together. If SRV wants to beat DLS just work harder, God knows you have the talent and facilites to do it, Its all about hard work and the Brotherhood.
Fred Bok December 11, 2011 at 07:00 PM
@whoever thinks private school recruits. The only barrier to Private school enrollment is MONEY. The only time these Catholic Private school give a break in the tuition is for Financial Hardship not Athletics period. My son goes to a Private school (public guy myself) and he plays football. Looking at the rosters, 80% of them came from feeder catholic middle schools. These middle schools prepare them to go to conitnue their education to any of the Catholic Private schools in the area. That decision was long made as far back as kindergarten. My son already wanted to go to a specific Private school when he was in the 1st Grade. The other 20% came from public schools who want their kids to Private becuase they feel they stand a better chance to excel in education. My son's small 8th grade class wasn't athletic at all they all got accepted to Privates becuase it was predetermined. I Know several kids in the neighborhood who are studs in their own right. But they went to a public school becuase the barrier is money. I know, I spoke with their parents and they would have loved to put them to Privates becuase of the education. I can't speak to other privates but their is no recruiting in my son's school period.
zola December 11, 2011 at 07:04 PM
Sprtndad, You are exactly dead on! I am from the east coast. Been involved in football for years. DLS is the best and most legit program in the country. I would not hesitate to say that all major programs they play DO recruit and are pretty up front about it in their own way. DLS does NOT! I was at the game last night and didn't have a horse in the race. I have to take my hat off to the DLS program. They have been scrutinized for decades and are always clean as a whistle. Great job! Go win us northern californians another state title guys!
DoubleAce December 11, 2011 at 09:16 PM
There's a difference between being attractive and recruiting. DLS doesn't recruit, but is attractive to lots of kids. Coach Ladouceur arrived in '79 and DLS had never had a winning program. Does DLS have an advantage because kids from multiple districts are allowed to apply and be considered. Perhaps. Does DLS operate with complete honor and integrity? Absolutely. The Contra Costa Times offered a $10k reward for a number of years if anyone could come forward with proof and no one even made a claim. Here's a couple of players that applied to and did not get accepted by DLS -- Gino Toretta (Heisman Trophy winner) and Kyle Wright (national POY). While the varsity hasn't lost in NorCal in 20 years, the freshman do not usually go undefeated. They are usually good, but not great. DLS players BECOME a great team thru hard work and determination. In Lad's own words: "The public's perception of what we do or what we stand for is drastically different than what actually takes place. I can imagine that this is probably true for many organizations. This is especially true for our football team. People are constantly writing the local papers questioning the integrity of our program. It's upsetting in so much that it questions the integrity of school officials and coaches sworn to uphold the ideals of our founder St. La Salle. What's worse, it completely nullifies the hard work, sheer grit and determination of our student athletes at De La Salle"
Sprtndad December 11, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Okay, so DLS has some vast recruiting network who are empowered by the administration who, over the past 20 plus years has talked to, say 30 thirteen year old kids a year to get 10 that come to DLS. And they are all super football players. In that time, talking to almost a thousand kids not ONE report of recruiting has been reported. Not one. I suppose the coaches have time during the season to go to pop warner games to look for stars all over the bay area. Those are the facts and to say otherwise is rumor, conjecture, and just plain made up. It also diminishes the incredible work put in by these DLS boys. I have yet to hear how SRV or MV or others put in the hours and effort to compete at this level. I suppose it's easier to shirk responsibility and blame someone else. By the way, it was Kline that made the comment about winning, not me.
Westsider December 11, 2011 at 11:42 PM
Sprtndad, Zola, Fred et al, get off the soapbox and accept the facts. If ONE year at St. X qualifies you as going to "Catholic School," that's a joke. When DLS football camp "coaches" hold their "summer camp" for middle schoolers, it's fact campers who are 6' tall or a 4.8 40 timed eighth grader, are targeted to hear this: "How old are you? 16? If you've had acaemic struggles having to repeat in public school, DLS can help you get to college." "We can help you apply here." "We have academic scholarships if your parents cannot afford our $14,400 tuition?" "If your parents/relatives cannot drive you daily we can arrange transportation for you for four years." These statements have been made for years to FOOTBALL campers at Winton. Is that recruiting? NO. Is it influencing a possible future blue chipper to apply to your school? YES. The religious aspect? I know several Richmond Steeler studs (some of the 20% Fred mentions above?) with ZERO ties to Catholicism prior to DLS, end up there. Why not Salesian? Please explain. The supposed "vetting process" from the Diocese/Bishops/Head LaSallian Brother to determine if a family "belongs?" This is contrary to supporters who state the admissions process is blind. The moral compasses of some DLS families I know are antithetical to the ten commandments. I also know several impeccably moral, dedicated Catholic families whose kids got in DLS/Clet. Great students, ALL of K-8 at Catholic parochials. They earned it.
Westsider December 11, 2011 at 11:54 PM
By the way, to impart that public high school football players and coaches do not put in the work and effort to compete at this level is trying to obfuscate the discussion. It's a pipedream that publics have the money (or even volunteers) to have ten varsity coaches! Spartndad- "I have yet to hear how SRV or MV or others put in the hours and effort to compete at this level. I suppose it's easier to shirk responsibility and blame someone else." Insulting the dedication and hard work of the coaches and especially the players of public teams such as MV 2008, Cal 2008/2010, all of whom got very close to beating DLS. What a jerk.
D December 12, 2011 at 01:07 AM
Explain to me how the senior and junior classes at DLS both lost to SRV freshman year and destroyed them varsity year. Recruiting.......no hardwork........yes
Babie Barrett December 12, 2011 at 02:15 AM
I can't believe some of the comments on this thread. The reality is, DLS played amazing football and they are the better team. However, unless every player on their roster is from Concord, it is NOT apples to apples. SRV had a fantastic season and, like DLS, deserves congratulations on their success. Spartan Dad, I give kuddos to Kline for his comment about having fun...he is a class-act kid who gave a comment in the spirit of good sportsmanship. It would appear to me that the players from both schools worked very hard for their individual successes...to suggest that one group wanted to have fun and the other just wanted to win sounds like an adult who is living vicarioulsy through his son. Congratulations to all of the players from BOTH teams...well done! I would also like to point out that this is a game. Our community just lost a son serving his country oversees. I think that sacrifice deserves much more attention than this thread.
ksav December 12, 2011 at 02:05 PM
Let me 'splain it to ya. It starts with Diablo Valley Youth Football Conference, and finishes with Coach Bob Ladouceur. And just for a little history update, De La Salle had to build the program from scratch. If DLS had been in the same league with SRV & MV back before Coach L, this discussion would be moot since they probably would have had their butts handed to them regularly.
Sprtndad December 12, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Westsider, You clearly missed my point. I did not mean or intend to impugn the work put in by the players or coaches. The DLS detractors choose to blame alleged DLS abuses. I simply posited that no one has stated that SRV or MV or any other football program puts in the same level of work. Maybe no one knows whether they are putting in the same or more off season work http://cifncs.org/sports/PRACTICE%20AND%20CONDITIONING%20RULES%20INTERPRETATIONS.pdf ? Or maybe they know and the teams aren’t doing it. It’s just easier to say we lost because they recruit. In all the postings there are only conjecture, innuendo, assertions and storytelling alleging DLS recruits. There is not one scintilla of fact. Here is the NCS website so all of you can report the myriad violations: http://cifncs.org/contact/. Please, football camp for 13 year old recruiting??? I suppose you heard that somewhere too? If so, report it (see above). It does no one any good for unsubstantiated rumors. If you know of a violation, do the right thing or give it a rest. Babie, on a personal level, my heart goes out to a brother US Marine. He is certainly in our prayers. That said, in the scheme of things this is really just a stupid discussion on high school football. If the Army and the Navy Ever look on Heaven’s scenes; They will find the streets are guarded By The United States Marines. Marines’ Hymn Semper Fi
Sprtndad December 12, 2011 at 05:37 PM
Babie, here is the Kline quote. "Who cares what the scoreboard says? We had fun out there."
greg cross December 12, 2011 at 05:52 PM
One thing Ive noticed is that the cream of crop DLS players are not that different from the ones in other EBAL schools. RB Lucas Dunne from '10/11 as well as Dylan Wynn. Dunne he was the best runner the Spartans (or league) had put on the field in 10 years , he was not some "out of neighborhood" kid and certainly didn't have any extraordinary size identified in grade school that others do not have. Neither does this year's RBs Joe Teo or Tiapepe Vitale. The difference for DLS is that they dont really have any average players, not on the lines and not in the secondary.
Westsider December 13, 2011 at 04:24 AM
Sprtndad- Help out Greg. T Kelly, Knowles, Butler, Ward brothers- all from Concord, right? Ha. You clearly did not read my full post. I wrote, "Is that recruiting? NO. Is it influencing a possible future blue chipper to apply to your school? YES." CIF doesn't regulate "influence", but feel free to deny that as well despite it is fact. It's not "illegal" and thus, not regulated. I am merely stating it exists. But please don't insult us by saying it doesn't happen as several other contributors- including Spartanhood members on other boards- confirm it exists. Based upon your obfuscations, none of those skinny, speedy eighth graders- ages 14-16, not 13- I mentioned above never panned out at the college level. Right? Plus, I never claimed any CIF violations so why keep bringing that up? DLS superior education than SRVUSD? Ignorance.
Westsider December 13, 2011 at 04:34 AM
Babie- personally know an active Marine in Afghan, and know his Blue Star family well. They are obviously close to the Corrals and we are saddened by Joshua's passing. Have nothing but respect for what our friend is doing, and hope he finishes his tour safely. BTW, he was a very good football player while at Cal High. Take this blog nonsense with just the slightest whim as it merely is pebbles in the desert. Know simpy that historically some DLS supporters react slightly defensively when faced with facts on blogs. Their "we are better than you" stance ( "Does the public school system offer as good an education? Lord knows they cost us a ton more money!") is misguided at best and contrary to La Sallian principles at worst. Sprtndad, do a little re(soul)searching before such an unenlightened statement....Oh, right, from high upon ne'er throne, thoust were referring to Pitt High, or Antioch, or Richmond or "name your UNDERFUNDED public school here." You shouldn't pick a fight with a public schoolers; might get schooled! Res ipsa loquitur.
Tri Valley Guy December 13, 2011 at 07:52 AM
I along with several other 8th graders at my school in Concord (OakGrove)were contacted by coaches from DLS. We were timed and asked to go to a informational meeting at DLS if we were interested which included a workout at DLS. This was just prior to the years when DLS started to win. Some of my friends and classmates went to DLS. Coming to a public school and timing kids after school and asking them to come workout??hmmm The meeting explained how they could help families afford the costs and how they would help kids get to 4 yr schools. Believe me the coaches from DLS were told which kids to watch by the PE teachers at the school. Myself and others were reminded to go to the afterschool meeting. That in my book is recruiting. Of course this was prior to them winning so who cared..I was in 8th grade in 1979. Take a look at the DLS yearly record and look at when they started winning. 1982 was their first winning season. If they were doing this at several schools it's no wonder they started winning. I know they are not doing it now as they don't need to since any kid that has the skills would love to go and have that in his corner when trying to get to a good 4 yr school. DLS has a fantastic program and I really enjoy watching them but they can't be compared to a public school. I take nothing away from the kids playing at DLS but seriously no public school has a fraction of the staff or the funds to run year long training.
Yawayne Thomas December 13, 2011 at 05:54 PM
Dasmond Tautalatasi, DLS, RB/DB, raised in Alameda, parents however rented shoebox apartment in San Ramon so their son could attend Iron Horse Middle School. After three years at IHMS, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, Dasmond Tautalatasi repeated 8th grade at St. Isidore Catholic School in Danville, CA and then entered DLS as a bigger, faster running back. DLS does not recruit, but they do have to, when you have idiotic parents doing what they can to assist their kids.
Boysnsports December 13, 2011 at 06:24 PM
De La Salle will keep on winning without recruiting and everything else you accuse them of doing. Please continue to whine and believe that DLS recruits and gets the better players from all over the Bay Area. Those of us that know the truth find you extremely entertaining and pathetic. You will never understand it because you don't want to know the truth. You would rather make excuses than have your kids do what it really takes to win. Sorry you can't buy a championship or a champion. It takes more than you will ever know.
Sprtndad December 14, 2011 at 12:30 AM
Boysnsports, nice summary - that says it all. Les Hommes De Foi
Sprtndad December 14, 2011 at 12:39 AM
Westsider, too bad you turned this into some personal rant but since we're in the mud, read your last post. A word of advice about picking fights about education. You might want to check your grammar and spelling before you brag about how smart you are. Have a great week.
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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