Entering Friday night's season opener against Bellarmine-San Jose, the De La Salle High football team carried a 213-game unbeaten streak against Northern California teams.
During the two-decade stretch, the Spartans haven't needed many breaks to win games — most of them were lopsided affairs.
Friday followed a completely different script.
The Spartans were sloppy, out of synch and looked nothing like a team ranked third in the country should look. They were dominated in the first half — yet only trailed 7-0 — turned the ball over three times and let Bellarmine's double-tight, double-wing offense control the game.
But, as they seemingly always do, the Spartans came back.
After the forgettable first half, two big plays from Anthony Williams gave the Spartans a 14-7 lead in the third quarter. The first was a 90-yard punt return with 8:30 left and was followed by a 70-yard touchdown reception at the 4:02 mark.
We've seen this before. De La Salle was poised to run off five scores and win 35-7, right? Far from it.
A missed DLS field goal early in the fourth kept it a one-possession game and Bellarmine took advantage. The Bells drove 70 yards in 16 plays and quarterback Travis McHugh scored from a yard out with 2:20 left. The extra-point tied it and the game headed to overtime.
Here's where it got crazy.
High school overtime is essentially NCAA rules, but the teams start from the 10-yard line as opposed to the 25.
De La Salle lost the coin toss and began on offense. The Spartans scored easily, but missed the point-after. All Bellarmine had to do was pick up what amounted to a first-down and kick a PAT and it'd end De La Salle's two decades of dominance.
The first part was easy enough, Bellarmine needed just three plays to score a touchdown.
Everyone at Owen Owens Field thought it was over.
No ones thinking there'd be another missed extra-point. But, just like De La Salle's attempt, it sailed wide left.
Bellarmine had to start on offense in the second overtime and, predictably, it didn't pick up a yard. The 27-yard field attempt was good and the Bells led 23-20.
Three plays later Bart Houston plunged into the end zone from a yard out and De La Salle escaped with a 26-23 win.
What a game.