De La Salle’s defense dominates as Spartans shut out McClymonds

In a defensive battle, De La Salle scores two second-half touchdowns to put away McClymonds

It was not an easy task. Absolutely not.

However, De La Salle, playing at home in Concord, eventually defeated Oakland powerhouse McClymonds 21-0 on Friday night, extending its winning streak to four games.

Toa Faavae threw his first touchdown pass of the season, a 38-yarder over the middle to Robert Santiago, and Dominic Kelley scored on two touchdown runs to account for the scoring.

But the night’s story was one of defense.

De La Salle’s was more dominant than Mack’s, with Drew Cunningham and company putting in another strong performance.

Santiago’s interception with 2:51 remaining put an end to the shutout.

Following the game, DLS coach Justin Alumbaugh praised his defense while also praising Mack and its longtime coach Michael Peters.

“I kept telling everybody,” Alumbaugh admitted. “I’m like, ‘You’ve got to watch this team’s film.'” They have a lot of fun. They are physically active. That is an excellent team. I have the highest regard for Coach Peters. What he does for the show. “I’m glad we were able to play.”

De La Salle (4-2) had four first-half drives inside McClymonds’ 20-yard line but only scored once, on a 5-yard run by Kelley early in the second quarter.

On the scoring drive, sophomore quarterback Brayden Knight came off the bench and completed three passes, including a huge pass to tight end DJ Asiasi that gave the Spartans a first-and-goal at the 6.

Aside from that, De La Salle was unable to convert against a defense that had shut out Bellarmine and Bishop O’Dowd to start the second half before falling 35-7 to San Ramon Valley two weeks ago.

Mack (2-2) didn’t get a first down until its punter ran nearly 40 yards after picking up a dropped snap from the end zone. The ball was moved to the DLS 48 by a late hit.

The visitors drove inside the 30-yard line but were unable to score before the halftime whistle.

Early in the third quarter, Faavae’s touchdown pass to Santiago made it 14-0.

Late in the period, DLS threatened to extend its lead to three touchdowns, but Mack recovered a fumble at the one.

With 5:12 remaining, Kelley scored on a 17-yard run for the home team’s third touchdown.

“Certainly some of it’s on us and our execution,” Alumbaugh said of the team’s inability to convert scoring chances. “But you can’t take away everything from them.” They make an excellent team. They crammed everyone into the box. We were attempting to charge right at them. At times, we were successful.

“But we just couldn’t maintain the consistency we had (against Folsom last week).” Offensively, we were a little disjointed. I didn’t like our offensive line surge over the last couple of weeks. But, clearly, McClymonds has a lot to do with it. Those guys give it their all.”

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