December 4, 2012 > De La Salle's mystique prevails
De La Salle's mystique prevails
By Nick Zambrano
After disposing of Irvington High, Freedom High and California High, the James Logan Colts football team knew what would be waiting for them in the North Coast Section Division I Championship.
A team bound to the record books, bound to history and a team that needed no introduction. The De La Salle Spartans of Concord.
A match-up with the Spartans was to be expected for the Colts. The Spartans have not lost an NCS title game since 1992, the same year their monumental 151-game winning streak began.
And unfortunately for Logan, history was destined to repeat itself as the Spartans cut them down, 52-7, last Friday night in Dublin. It was the first time that the Colts had been held to a single digit point total all season.
"De La Salle is De La Salle, you got a play to near perfection and we didn't do that. They were the better team," said Logan head coach George Zuber, who has faced the Spartans once before as the defensive coordinator at San Leandro High. Relying heavily on the run all season, De La Salle averaged 294 yards on the ground per game while the passing game averaged only 88 yards. So it was expected that the Colts would get a heavy dose of De La Salle running backs Pepe Vitale and Das Tautalatasi.
However, with the help of a few penalties, the Colts stuffed the Spartans' initial drive and forced a rare punt. It appeared that Logan could withstand the De La Salle running game. "That was a good stop on the first drive but then things went down hill from there," Zuber said.
On the next possession, Spartans hall of fame coach Bob Ladouceur was quick to adjust to Logan's solid run defense with an air raid led by junior quarterback Chris Williams.
From the Logan 45-yard line, Williams connected on a bomb to senior receiver Andrew Buckley for the game's first score. It was the first of two scores for the tandem. The southpaw Williams finished the game going 9-12, passing for 148 yards and four touchdowns; Buckley finished with six catches and 131 yards.
Beginning to feel the pressure mounting against them and with star running back Warren Miles Long kept in check by the Spartans front seven, the Colts decided to try Ladouceur's medicine against him. The result was not so kind.
Facing a third and long situation with the ball on their own 25-yard line, Logan quarterback Jeffrey Prothro was picked off by linebacker D.J. Moffitt. Moffitt's interception led to another Williams touchdown pass, this time to Austin Hooper.
Prothro would go on to throw three more interceptions, with one getting returned for a pick-six. He'd finish the game completing six passes for 125 yards and another 41 yards on the ground.
Now trailing 14-0 in the second quarter, the Colts finally got their chance to get on the board. With passes of 47 and 21 yards to Kavion Augustine and Long respectively, Prothro helped put the Colts within reasonable distance from the De La Salle goal line. It was there that Long took the rock from 38 yards out and scored the team's only touchdown. In his final game wearing the Logan red and black, Long finished with 122 yards rushing and another 21 receiving.
Four more scores and a safety in the second half helped to bring the game to its final score. After that, the celebration began in the De La Salle section of the bleachers. And as Ladouceur and company celebrated their 28th NCS crown, Zuber and his staff consoled their heavy-hearted team. Tears still in their eyes, they managed to keep their heads up as their coaches fed them a bounty of accolades. In one final statement, Zuber summed his team's season in three words: "a great job."