SACRAMENTO — The De La Salle blueprint for victory did not call for this. It did not call for Mater Dei to cruise for an early touchdown, or a fumble that led to another touchdown, or a botched snap on a punt that led to one more touchdown.
It did not call for a 21-point deficit before the first quarter ended.
De La Salle faced near impossible odds Saturday night, needing to play a perfect game to just have a chance against the Southern California juggernaut from Santa Ana.
Far from perfect, De La Salle was beaten soundly in the Open Division championship game for the second year in a row, this time 52-21 against national No. 1 Mater Dei, a rich-talented team that completed an all-time great season.
Mater Dei quarterback JT Daniels, a USC-bound junior, completed 20 of 30 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for two touchdowns before departing to cheers midway through the fourth quarter.
Amon-Ra St. Brown was Daniels’ top target, catching eight passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
One year after St. John Bosco pounded De La Salle 56-33 in this game, the Spartans hoped to flip the script, hoped that a schedule that included Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas and St. John’s-Washington, D.C, would get them ready for whichever powerhouse came out of the South.
Coach Justin Alumbaugh acknowledged that the margin for error against Mater Dei was razor thin. But he believed the blueprint that has brought seven state championships to the De La Salle campus over the past dozen years would keep his team in this game, if executed properly. The six turnovers De La Salle committed obviously were not part of the plan.
De La Salle wanted to get to the fourth quarter with a manageable score, a score that would test Mater Dei’s nerve, …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports