At halftime, De La Salle leads Mission Viejo 21-7 thanks to an 84-yard touchdown on a quick slant from Blake Wayne to Mike Czyz. Let me tell you something right now. Mike Czyz is hands-down the fastest player on the field. Without a doubt. He made Mission Viejo’s best player, Alex Mascarenas, look silly on that slant pattern. Making it even more impressive was Wayne threw it on the run. DLS is the better team tonight.
Coach Bob Ladouceur said in his halftime interview that he’d like to see the Spartans get the running game going a bit more and I agree with him. Aside from Pica’s big run in the first quarter, the run game (the veer in particular) hasn’t been real effective. They slipped into an I-Formation for a few plays and I thought Kylan Butler was close to breaking one. It’ll be interesting to see if they go back to that formation in the second half because I think Butler is going to break one if they get him the ball.
Another impression I’ve had from watching the game on TV (and this is probably magnified if you’re actually at the game) is that De La Salle came to hit. Brady Amack had a jarring hit late in the second quarter and there have been a few plays by the defensive backs that have knocked balls loose on what looked to be completions. Mission Viejo had its chance in the second quarter, getting all the way down to the DLS 8 and then the Spartans just pushed them backwards. This is going to get worse before it gets better for the Diablos.
I’ll try and get back here at the end of the third quarter but I’ll definitely have a post-game wrap when it’s all done. I’ll also try to get some reaction via text message from crack reporter Chace Bryson as he patrols the sidelines in SoCal.
Well, Chace Bryson is in southern California covering the game and I am left here to watch the DLS/Mission Viejo game on Fox Sports Net-Bay Area. But, you know what I can do that he can’t? I can talk to you, the people. After one quarter, De La Salle held a 14-7 lead and actually scored the last 14 points of the quarter after the Diablos got on the board first. DLS benefited from a big run by Tito Pica that set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Kylan Butler and then a big pass from Mike MacGillivray to Mike Czyz for a touchdown.
I’m impressed with De La Salle’s team speed. On TV it looks like they weren’t quite ready for Mission Viejo’s spread offense and really you can’t blame them for taking a while to adjust. The Spartans haven’t seen a spread like this yet this year. What is most encouraging for DLS fans has to be the way the Spartans have adjusted. I’m very impressed with Mission Viejo’s QB, Allen Bridgford, RB Craig Woods and WR/DB Alex Mascarenas. Other than that though, I think DLS is blowing Mission Viejo off the ball and it’s only a matter of time before they break it open.
More to come at halftime
Monte Vista makes a big jump toward the top of the poll this week, but next week will determine how good the Mustangs really are or can be.
If back-to-back matches against Amador Valley and Foothill doesn’t get a team hyped up, nothing will. And if you think next week isn’t that big a deal, you’re mistaken.
All three teams are undefeated in EBAL while the Dons and Falcons make up the league champions of the last three years, so Monte Vista is battling history.
Monte Vista has a rare opportunity here. Two things can happen. The Mustangs can A) solidify themselves as contendors with one or (gasp!) TWO wins next week. Or B) pick up two losses faster than a sharp hit down the sideline. Either way, the EBAL picture will be much clearer after next week.
Carondelet, who made a big jump to No. 4, tries to keep up the momentum against Deer Valley. The Wolverines appear to be the class of the BVAL, and if the Cougars can knock them off it will provide a great win on its postseason resume and will replace Deer Valley in the drivers seat for the league title. But remember this, it took Carondelet a hard-fought four games on Tuesday to beat Liberty (a match that apparently could’ve gone either way) and the Lions fell fairly easily to Deer Valley on Sept. 25.
Albany also shoots up the ladder and is making a case as being one of the better teams in the area. Bishop O’Dowd won its 40th straight Hayward Area Athletic League match and grabbed sole possession of first place in the league with a four-game victory over Castro Valley.
– Ricardo Sanchez Jr.
EAST BAY GIRLS VOLLEYBALL COACHES POLL
1) Amador Valley (can the Dons go undefeated in EBAL?)
2) Deer Valley (first challenge in BVAL comes on Tuesday vs. Carondelet)
3) Monte Vista (Mustangs streaking in league play)
4) Carondelet (big win over Liberty sets up big match against DV)
5) Bishop O’Dowd (O’Dowd gets 40th straight HAAL win)
6) Albany (Cougars look to be the class of the BSAL)
7) Foothill (gets a tough fight from Granada)
8) Las Lomas (good showing at Albany Tournament)
9) Castro Valley (lose four-game tough one to Dragons)
10) San Ramon Valley (loses in three to Foothill in league play)
Others receiving votes — Campolindo, Granada