The Spartans may have caught a break when a holding penalty negated a first down run by DiLuigi and Longshore threw his third interception of the half, this one by Dominguez Dickerson. DLS takes over on its own 42.
The Canyon band just lauched into the theme from "Rocky", and the crowd is beginning to believe the Cowboys have a shot. The Spartans defense appears gassed. Amack stands with his hands on his hips after each play. The clock continues to work against the Spartans as Canyon keeps trying to move the sticks.
In perhaps the biggest series of the night for DLS, the Spartans faced a 4th-7 from the Canyon 25 and MacGillivray’s pass to Mike Czyz comes up about two feet short. Once again, it will be up to the DLS defense.
Harry Welch won’t gamble with a 4th-and-4 from his own 17 and DLS will have good field position. Starting at their own 47. So once again, the defense holds. Now, can the offense follow suit?
Hendershott’s big game continues, this time with an interception on a ball that appeared to be thrown right to him. He returned it 27 yards inside the Canyon 35. Two plays later, Hendershott has the ball again — this time on a catch that puts DLS at the 15. After another Hendershott catch moves DLS to the 6-yard line, the Spartans fail to pick up the first down on 3rd-and-1 and 4th-and-1. A big opportunity missed, to say the least.
And DLS will have to chew on that as the quarter ends and the momentum seems to have shifted again.
De La Salle can’t pick up a first down and is forced to punt. The loss of Hess on the offensive line seems to be affecting the Spartans running game at this point. Canyon begins its new possession on its own 18.
The fourth down gamble may have worked for Canyon, but the drive fell apart on a costly fumble in the backfield resulting in a 17-yard loss. The Cowboys punt and it feels like Uncle Mo is making his way toward the DLS sideline.
It’s no secret that Harry Welch is fourth-down gambler, but with a 4th-and-1 from his own 29-yard line, he has his team take the ultimate gamble, and Longshore picks up the first down. That decision just might have blown 49ers coach Mike Nolan’s mind. Meanwhile, Canyon’s drive continues.