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CIF-State Championship: De La Salle 48, Corona Centennial 28

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Huskies Can’t Overcome Mistakes

By Gary Montgomery
BVN Staff

Carson – Corona Centennial’s fourth appearance in the State Bowl Championships may be the one they will most likely want to forget. The Huskies made more mistakes and turnovers Saturday evening than in any game this season.

The nightmare began on the opening kickoff when junior defensive back, John Plattenburg mishandled the ball, finally falling on it at the Huskies 4-yard line. Backed perilously against their own goal line, the Huskies could only muster a few yards of breathing room before having to pump the ball away.

Expecting to punt and work toward regaining field position the Huskies lined up for the snap when punter Rigo Luna inexplicable dropped the ball for a loss of 17 yards. More important, giving the Spartans possession deep in the red zone.

Da LaSalle quickly took advantage of the Huskies gift and opened the scoring floodgates. On the third play of the drive, Tiapepe Vitale took a handoff from Chris Williams and scampered 2-yards into the end zone to give Da La Salle a 7-0 lead that they would never relinquish.

After a penalty nullified a sure first down, the Huskies had to punt the ball back to the Spartans. De La Salle promptly mounted a 10 play 61-yard drive to advance their lead to 14-0. “Just too many mistakes, there’s no way you can expect to win a football game making as many mistakes as we did tonight”. Said Centennial Head Coach Matt Logan.

Centennial missed an opportunity to even out their fortunes when senior linebacker Jaycie Guerrero-Cepeda recovered a Spartans’ fumble in Huskies' territory. Two plays later Huskies junior quarterback Robert Webber fumbled the ball right back to Da La Salle.

In the blink of an eye, the Spartans had run their first half lead up to 28-0. “Man, I’m not sure what happened out there. We had so many bad breaks that it just made it tough…but we never gave up. I kept thinking we were about to pull this one out but it just wasn’t happening for us tonight,” said junior wide receiver Barry Ware.

The Huskies finally got a little offensive flow going and put together an 80-yard drive culminating in a 1-yard TD run by Austin Renken to cut the deficit to 28-7 with 36 seconds left in the first half.

Concord De La Salle (15-0) has made the trip to Carson seven times since the re-instatement of the Championships in 2006. The Spartans have won 5 times and only lost twice, once to Canyon Country in 2006 and again to Corona Centennial in 2008.

Centennial (14-2) maintained its new found flow opening the second half. Robert Webber threw a perfect pass to Chase Krivashei on a slant route for a 63-yard touchdown to get the Huskies within two scores at 28-14.

“They made some tremendous adjustments and got us widened out, but the early lead gave us the opportunity to relax and get back to our correct coverage’s and that was the difference,” said Spartans’ senior linebacker Michael Hutchins.

Krivashei’s catch and run energized the Huskies’ defense and after a quick four and out, Centennial was on the move again and it was feeling like a comeback in Carson. Wheeler hit Krivashei again on the opposite side of the field for what appeared to be another big gain when De La Salle safety Andrew Buckley grabbed Krivashei by the collar and spun him around like a rag doll dislodging the ball and adding another Huskies’ turnover to the stat line.

Once again, capitalizing a short field, the Spartans quickly scored when Chris Williams found Austin Lonestar in the end zone for a 38 yard scoring play to make the score 35-14.

The Huskies kept up the good fight and scored twice more but Da La Salle had all of the answers and matched both with scores of their own. The Spartans sealed their fourth consecutive Bowl win with the 48-28 victory on Saturday night and cemented their No. 5 national ranking. “Da La Salle is the pinnacle of football programs,” Matt Logan told Max Prep. “It is the best program in high school football.”

With four consecutive Open Division titles and one Division I title, Da La Salle has dominated the Bowl championships and with and returning players like quarterback Chris Williams you will likely see them back in Carson again next December.

G. Montgomery can be reached at sports@blackvoicenews.com

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