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De La Salle really did lose
As St. Francis celebrated its epic 31-28 victory Friday night, off in the distance, in a far corner of Ron Calcagno Stadium in Mountain View beyond the track, De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh held court with his team.
He didn’t make excuses after the storied Concord program lost to a California school north of the Fresno area for the first time in 30 years.
“When someone comes in and they take something from you and they deserve it, you tip your cap,” Alumbaugh said as he started to walk off the field. “That’s what I told our kids. You’ve got to give credit where credit’s due.”
Alumbaugh was gracious in defeat, St. Francis respectful in victory.
PREP FOOTBALL WEEK 3 COVERAGE
- Scores: Weekend scoreboard, how Top 25 fared
- Roundup: Best of Week 3’s prep football action
- Stunner! St. Francis ends DLS’s 30-year unbeaten streak vs. regional opponents
- St. Francis assistant, months after his cancer remission, celebrates victory over DLS
- Photos: Our staff’s best images from Week 3
- Pittsburg quiets Valley Christian’s stars just enough to earn its first win
- Calls don’t go SRV’s way in loss to Central Catholic-Modesto
- California’s offense hums along, with 70 points, but larger challenges await
- Bellarmine blasts San Leandro, alum Brad Bowers
- Amador Valley holds off Dublin in a defensive battle featuring 1 TD
- Big second half: El Cerrito takes command vs. O’Dowd after halftime
“I would like to thank De La Salle for giving us this opportunity to play us,” St. Francis senior Viliami Teu, who ran for 213 yards, said amid the celebration.
So, what will be the fallout from the stunning result, now and moving forward?
Here are a few thoughts:
The streak that De La Salle’s remembered most for wasn’t the one broken Friday night.
It’s the national-record run of 151 consecutive victories that began after a North Coast Section championship game loss to Pittsburg on Dec. 7, 1991, at the Oakland Coliseum and ended on Sept. 4, 2004, against Bellevue (Washington) in the home stadium of the Seattle Seahawks.
Still, the regional streak of 318 games, which included two ties and also began after the Pittsburg loss, was mindblowing in its own right.
Think about it: Six presidents have resided in the White House during that span.
“And they don’t duck anybody,” St. Francis coach Greg Calcagno said. “Hats off to them. They play everybody they can to get themselves better.”
Alumbaugh, a former De La Salle standout and assistant who took over as head coach from the legendary Bob Ladouceur after the 2012 season, has always said he doesn’t talk about streaks with the players.
But after the loss Friday, he told them they’re going to hear about this one and he’ll have to address it with reporters.
We asked Alumbaugh as he left the field to put the run into perspective.
“It’s an incredible thing,” he said. “That 30-year span, that’s a testament to a lot of really good teams and a lot of great coaching. We took out a lot of great teams over that time.
“I’ve said we have the ability (this season) to be a great team, but we weren’t tonight and they were. We can’t make the mistakes that we made against a great team.”
Calcagno called DLS’s run unthinkable.
“I have a ton of respect for them,” he said. “What they’ve been able to do, unbelievable. I cannot even imagine it. Hats off to them, what those coaches and what those kids have been able to do over all this time.”
One more streak
As much as we don’t want to write this sentence, there is one more De La Salle streak that will be news when it ends.
St. Francis is a Bay Area school, but it’s in the Central Coast Section, not the NCS.
So Pittsburg, Clayton Valley, San Ramon Valley, Monte Vista … whomever, you’re up next.
De La Salle still has not lost to a school within its own section since the Pittsburg game 30 years ago.
We asked Clayton Valley coach Tim Murphy on Saturday night if other teams will now think they have a shot against De La Salle.
“Obviously that was a heck of a game, and St. Francis is loaded,” said Murphy, whose team visits De La Salle on Nov. 5. “But I don’t want to make any comment on that because every time I make a comment about De La Salle, I end up eating my words.”
Big picture: This season
Among Northern California schools, De La Salle was already ranked behind Folsom in the calpreps.com computer rankings before the loss to St. Francis.
Now the Concord power is ranked behind Folsom, Pittsburg and St. Francis.
So, at this point, it seems likely that someone not named De La Salle will represent Northern California in the Open Division state championship game against one of Southern California’s super teams.
Folsom has the inside track.
If the Bulldogs win on their home field against De La Salle on Oct. 8 and finish undefeated, they will be the team to play Mater Dei, St. John Bosco, or some other powerhouse in the premier division.
But if De La Salle or someone else beats Folsom, the NorCal representative could be St. Francis or Serra, provided that one of them goes through the West Catholic Athletic League undefeated and wins the CCS’s top division.
No small task.
“It’s a great win for us,” Calcagno said. “But for us, and I told our guys this, it’s Week 2, or Week 3, I guess, for everybody else. We’ve got a lot of season left. If this is the highlight of our season, then we did not do what we wanted to do.”
In a brief text exchange with Calcagno on Sunday, we asked how it’s been since the game.
“It has been a pretty memorable weekend,” he wrote.
In his final season as Clayton Valley’s coach, Murphy got a measure of revenge Saturday night against Liberty of Bakersfield.
Two decades ago, when Murphy was the coach at a new school in Clovis (Clovis East), his team met a new school from Bakersfield (Liberty) in a Central Section championship game.
“The paper called it the newest section championship in history,” Murphy said. “We were the only all junior team to make it to a section championship in section history.”
Liberty won 25-13.
“They blocked 2 punts,” Murphy wrote in a text last week. “One more reason I rarely punt.”
Saturday, Liberty and Clayton Valley met in the finale of four Honor Bowl games played over the weekend at Liberty in Brentwood.
Clayton Valley won 14-13, running out the final 6:43 to seal the victory.
“That was fun, man, that was good,” Murphy said. “The kids played hard and it was a battle. I went back to my old offense, and it was good.”
Murphy frowned about his team’s fumbles but he was proud that pressure on a Liberty PAT forced a wide kick, which was the difference in the game.
“We brought three guys off of his right side and he kicked it left,” Murphy said.
Quarterback Brenden Bush was named Character Player of the Game, and running back/linebacker Jordan Barbadillo and running back/safety Rahsaan Woodland were named the game’s co-MVPs by the Honor Bowl officials, Murphy said.
Cathedral Catholic-San Diego (3-1) at De La Salle (2-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m.: San Diego Section’s top team has blown out two opponents since being blown out by Centennial-Corona.
Central Catholic-Modesto (3-0) vs. Bellarmine (2-0) at San Jose City College, Friday, 7 p.m.: Don’t think either team has forgotten Central Catholic rallying from 21 points behind to beat the Bells 28-21 last spring.
Marin Catholic (3-0) at McClymonds (2-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: The first of three consecutive big tests for Mack. Menlo-Atherton and Pittsburg are next on the Oakland power’s schedule.
Liberty (1-1) at Monte Vista (2-0), Friday 7 p.m.: Former Cal, NFL running back C.J. Anderson has Monte Vista off to a nice start.
Pittsburg (1-1) at Wilcox (1-2), Friday, 7 p.m.: Wilcox lost at home to Valley Christian, Pittsburg won at home against Valley.
Half Moon Bay (0-2) at Los Gatos (3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: Half Moon Bay hung with Serra for a half. Can it tick around longer against Los Gatos?
Check back later this morning for more notes from the weekend.