Trailing 21-14, the Archbishop Mitty High School football team looked like it was about to tie Friday night’s game against De La Salle as the Monarchs drove to the Spartans’ 1-yard line early in the third quarter.
Then De La Salle came up with its biggest defensive plays of the season.
On first and goal from the one, Mitty RB Jason Panganiban was stopped for no gain. On second down, QB Patrick Malley was forced out of the pocket and chased out of bounds for a 7-yard loss. On third down, Malley tried to throw to FB Grant Zamudio in the flat but the pass fell incomplete. Then, just to suck out all of the momentum from the Monarchs sideline, kicker Patrick Chamberlin missed a 25-yard field goal.
De La Salle seized the opportunity to take control on its ensuing drive, marching 80 yards on six plays, capped by Mario D’Ambrosio’s 40-yard run to paydirt which gave his team a more comfortable 28-14 lead.
The point is that this year’s De La Salle team made a huge defensive stand when it needed to, when last year’s team in the early stages of the season probably would have given up that touchdown and allowed the opponents to seize momentum.
The same thing happened in the fourth quarter. This time, Mitty drove into DLS territory as it trailed 28-21. But WR/DB Vincent Colvis, who was chastised by the Spartans’ coaching staff minutes earlier for dropping a catchable ball on offense, picked off an overthrown pass by Malley and returned it to the DLS 39. On the next play, RB Tim Maupin scored the third of his three touchdowns on a 61-yard run to effectively put the game out of reach.
Bring the noise
The De La Salle sideline on Friday was loud to start the game but became more reserved as the night went on. In the second half, D’Ambrosio implored his teammates to show some emotion, using one or two choice words that probably shouldn’t be repeated.
Contrast that with the Mitty sideline, which was clearly more emotional. They were jacked up when the Monarchs had their third quarter drive, and deadly silent after the missed field goal and the long D’Ambrosio TD run.
I don’t know. As a coach, would you rather your team stay on an even keel and be more studious or would you rather have them be on that emotional roller coaster that goes with any high school football game?
Of the six touchdowns DLS has allowed this season, two have come through the air, including a 17-yard connection on Friday from Malley to Doug Williams. … Tom McConnell has started to become more of a force on the Spartans’ defensive line. He had two sacks against Mitty and has three in the past two games.