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De La Salle Spartans v Pittsburg Pirates NCS semifinal rd 3

The NCS semi-final was between De La Salle and Pittsburg, with the Pirates being the last team from Nor Cal to beat the Spartans. However that was two decades ago (in 1991) in a similar NCS playoff game.

There would be no repeat performance by Pitt on this night as the Spartans defense dominated the entire game and the offense, aside from an early interception on a gadget play on its first drive, could not be stopped with three different runners scoring TDs and running up a 48-0 first half score that would remain unchanged as the clock was set for a quick finish in the second half.

The one sided affair lacked drama but showed that the Spartans are all business as they attempt to return to the CIF Open title game for a possible 3 game state streak.

Here are the pics…

Spartan RB Joe Teo (#10), in his last action at Owen Field, takes an early hand-off

A trick play with WR #22 Andrew Buckley for a pass ended badly with a Pirate Interception

But DLS got the ball back after one play (forced fumble) and Bart Houston (#13) drops back.

Pitt got the ball back down then QB Malik got sacked by the Spartan D

Spartan RB Tiupepe Vitale (#20) follows blocks

Pirate QB Malik  Watson finding things crowded as he sets up for a pass.

Spartan’s defensive front led by DE Austin Hooper ( #18)

With an ounce of protection on second down, Malik Watson (#8) winds up

Pitt RB #33 Vupinola

#55 Antonio Huey finds it rough going stopping Spartan ball carriers

Spartan D catches up

Tiupepe Vitale #20 breaks loose in route to his first TD

DLS Luc Hamilton #57 and #50 Chris Olinger pursue QB Malik Watson #8

Joe Teo breaking early across the first line of defense on way to TD

LB Michael Barton (#11), David Moffit (#58) and crew were a menacing presence

QB Bart Houston (#13) ran plenty and played physical with rush 2 TDs and other slashes

RB Joe Teo (#10) at it again

Teo breaks into the second level on his way…


San Ramon Valley Danville v. James Logan Union City NCSs

In an NCS Round Two playoff match-up in Union City, the San Ramon Valley (SRV) Wolves met the 10-0 James Logan Colts on Friday night Nov 26th.

The game would be hard fought from start to finish;  but it was squarely in SRV’s favor as they jumped out to a 14-0 lead and would never look back, especially after a surprising on-sides kick that was recovered after their 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

In the end, James Logan made it close, closing in with a second half TD to make it 21-14, but the Wolves defense, always in close pursuit and and grabbing a hardy handful of sacks on Colt’s QB Prothro made the difference.

Cal-bound Zach Kline (#5) had a stellar night throwing for two TDs and running for a third.  The Colts were frustrated all night at the line of scrimmage where they couldn’t break open big enough holes for their backs and couldn’t stop the Wolves sack machine. Even when throwing screens the RBs were run down in short order. It was a great season for both teams. The Wolves keep the EBAL undefeated in NCS post season play and move on to face the winner of Monte Vista vs. San Leandro the following week.

QB Zach Kline takes the snap early in the game.

RB Felipe Parra over the goal line to put Wolves up 14-0.

RB Warren Long follows his blockers

The Logan Colts get into a power offense

#77 DL Jake Simonech for SRV Holds down Warren Long #42 of Logan

Colt QB Jeffrey Prothro (#9) gets the snap

Prothro scrambles as LB #55 Matt Fisher pursues

SRV’s O-line fires off the ball

SRV’s running back (unknown) gains tough yards

Wolves Jeff Greene #23 takes down Damond Beasley (#5) for the Colts


Logan WR Ferdows Wahab (#21) cannot find room

Colts Damond Beasley scores Logan’s second TD to close to 21-14.

Wolves WR Brian Danis (#9) holds on

RB Jordan Weiss (#42) stretches for final SRV TD, 28-14 lead.

Colin Wilson #25 takes down Logan RB in 4th Quarter.

Wolves Sack on Colts final drive

Kline takes knee to close out game




Monte Vista Jeff Lockie v Heritage Patriots Captured NCS

On a rainy Saturday night, the Monte Vista Mustangs of Danville hosted the Heritage High Patriots of Brentwood.

This one wouldn’t be close (if you judged by the first half) as the Jeff Lockie (EBAL MVP) torched the Patriots who couldnt get away from their own penalties nor cover the Mustang WRs.  The Patriots stormed back to somehow score 36 points but I had left as it was pouring rain.

In the end MV prevailed, making for a 2-1 record for the league in the opening round of NCS play.  With both Pittsburg and Freedom, tough opponents from the BVAL also advancing, the next three weeks are going to be pretty good. De La Salle will remain a heavy favorite however.

Freedom vs. Cal San Ramon NCS Playoff Captured

Freedom High of Oakley and Cal High San Ramon squared off in the first round of NCS Div 1 on Friday night, Nov. 18th.

A thrilling game, filled with drama and back and forth battles. The home team Falcons, who, after a having been down 28-13, stormed all the way back with a TD, point after, a Field Goal, another TD (game winner).

But that wasn’t all. Leading by 1 point (29-28) with 3:50 on the clock, the Falcons also needed a 4th quarter interception, and lastly, a blocked FG as the last 7 seconds burned off the clock to hold off the Grizzlies who drove it all the way down near their 15 yard line.

A disappointment for Cal which could not assert its ground game, aside from some killer plays by Armani Washington (#3) (what I thought would be dominant) and whose defense–like on other occasions this year– could not stop Freedom’s offense; a mix of wildcat, shotgun and other plays from highly effective offensive sets. But both teams gave maximum effort and great result.

The winning points came on a QB run by Stephen Rodriguez (a last moment stand in for the hurt starter) and kicker Anthony Cantabrana (pictured below) whose kick with 3:42 left was the final necessary point.

The real star of the game with a pair of TDs and the HUGE interception was #5 Darrell Daniels; This guy was a gamer.


First play for the Falcons

#5 Jerrell Dunn tackles #5 Darrell Daniels

#5 Darrell Daniels has no quit

Cal’s Jerrell Dunn #5 takes a first quarter hand-off

Cal got its ground game off early as it went up 14-0 before the Falcons could respond.

Cal QB Cameron Owen (#15) Launches pass to the end zone

Shane Haley (#8) for Cal breaks the ice on scoring with first TD.

Freedom’s first drive, down 7-0.

RB/DB “do it all” Darrell Daniels #5 around end.

Before half a Falcon looks on

Freedom’s RB Joe Mixon (#20) around left side.

Freedom’s Malik Jackson (#24) flies in for the stop

#5 Jerrell Dunn faces the music, right into the back of #45. OUCH.

Freedom’s head coach, dealing with the stress of ‘win” or “out’ NCS D1.

All things in order for the new QB, Stephen Rodriguez

Cal’s second TD drive, RB Brian Krause (#27) on the move

Brian Krause on track around the left side

Up 14-0, Cal’s D crowds ball carriers

Darell Daniels (#5) Runs Tough as LB Kevin Leathley (#54) closes in

Darell Daniels (#5) plucks his way towards the goal line

Falcon’s (#5) Darrell Daniesl hits paydirt; Freedom on the board with a TD


Falcon’s #4 Jordan Sheppard eludes Cal S Nicco Mendietta (#45)

#5 Darrell Daniels takes a wildcat snap

A critical first down by (#4) Jordan Sheppard of Freedom to pull the Falcons closer

Second half TD and the come back is on. Believe it was QB Stephen Rodriquez (#2)

#2 Stephen Rodriguez takes the snap.

the SPY, Darrell Daniels sees an errant pass in the 4th Quarter.

The SNAG, INT by Daniels keeps it away from #3 Armani Washington

The Celebration, just after the biggest INT ever; Rodriguez #2 points to the sky

Frustration – Cal’s Armani Washington after the turn-over as Falcons gather up.

Now with the ball in 4th quarter, Falcons work to close the deal

Cal is not out of it yet, Coach Eric Billeci looking for focus

#5 Darrell Daniels would not be denied survival.

What would be the game winning extra point

Cal’s back up QB Cameron Owen *#15) sparks a desperation drive, a critical gain.

The last second FG try by Cal is amazingly blocked

Loose ball, no time, means game over, Freedom 29, Cal 28.


An incredible celebration as the Falcons know how tough the win was.

Frozen, on a cold night, Freedom travels to Concord next to meet the Spartans

To the victor go the spoils; media interview for Darrell Daniels with Cal Hi Sports