The De La Salle High school football team had it all along during its 41-25 NCS semifinal playoff win over San Ramon Valley on Friday night.
Okay, so maybe that’s not entirely accurate. The Spartans were giving up chunks of yardage through the air to San Ramon Valley and were leading 21-7 midway through the second quarter. But De La Salle never trailed after scoring on its first drive of the night, and eventually had a 34-point lead with 10:16 to go in the fourth quarter. The Wolves scored 18 points in the final 5:14 to make the score more respectable.
One of the Spartans players that impressed the most was running back/return specialist Ryan Nastor. Nastor has been a backup running back for most of the season, but he’s become invaluable on punt and kickoff returns. Tonight, he made the play that pretty much helped the Spartans put the game away.
After San Ramon Valley was forced to punt with under a minute left in the second quarter, Nastor returned the punt 39 yards to the Wolves’ 11, shedding several tackles along the way. Two plays later, De La Salle ran a (sort of) trick play as Tillman Pugh took the handoff from Mike MacGillivray and went to his left. Pugh then handed the ball to John Hendershott, who was running towards the opposite side. Hendershott then found an open Pete Sitov in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown that gave De La Salle a 27-7 lead with 4 seconds to go in the first half. Nastor also finished with 43 yards rushing and a touchdown on four carries.
“It was good to get that touchdown back, and it was a great effort by Nastor," Spartans coach Bob Ladouceur said. "It was all individual effort on his part. Guys were scrambling for blocks, but it was just a great run.”