30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 15): De La Salle’s Three-Game Grind

We’re halfway there, folks. Just 15 more days to go before El Cerrito and Mission-S.F. get the year underway by squaring off at Kezar Stadium. One day later, De La Salle will open it’s season by hosting Serra — the first of three nonleague games that will undoubtedly test the fortitude of this collection of Spartans. After Serra it’s a pair of out-of-state opponents in Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) and Lakeland (FL.). Which leads us to the obvious question:

What can we expect De La Salle’s record to look like after its first three games?

In looking at everything on paper, I think the best guess would be 2-1.

Game 1, Serra: The Spartans had a miserable time in scraping out a season-opening win against the Padres last season, but that’s essentially because Serra dominated the point of attack against a young DLS line. That definitely should not happen this season, as De La Salle will be much more skilled and experienced on both of its lines. History also comes into play here as the game is at Owen Owens Field where Serra has not played particularly well in recent matchups. Serra lost 61-13 in 2005 and 40-22 in 2007 at DLS. The Spartans will be breaking in a new QB (or two), but it shouldn’t matter as the they should be able to move the ball effectively on the ground.

Game 2, Don Bosco Prep: It would be hard to top the intensity of last year’s matchup between the Spartans and Ironmen, but it’s possible this game may do it. I haven’t ever actually heard DLS coach Bob Ladouceur say it, but I have a inkling he was more cheesed off losing to DBP than he was losing the CIF Bowl game to Centennial-Corona.  That said, I don’t think there is any chance the Spartans go to the East Coast without being expertly prepared and perhaps more motivated to win than any other game they will play all season. The Ironmen will be playing their first game of the season, and will have some kinks to work out (including breaking in their own new QB). Keep in mind that as good as that DBP team was last season, it lost its first game of the year against St. Xavier (OH.). Each team’s strength will undoubtedly be defense, so it could be a very low-scoring game. The Ironmen have two Division I-commits at defensive end, two more at linebacker and a Yale-bound defensive back. I see it as a very good game, but I think it will be De La  Salle’s turn to escape by a field goal.

Game 3, Lakeland: This is the game that I would predict De La Salle could fall short on. Not that they won’t give the Florida school a run for its money, but Lakeland will feature the same type of talent and speed that Centennial had last December. The Spartans will get an extra week to prepare for this game, so an immediate letdown off the DBP game isn’t likely be a factor. Jarred Haggins IS likely to be a factor. The Dreadnaughts run-and-gun QB had scholarship offers from Ohio State and half the SEC before recently committing to Florida State (where he’s most likely going to suit up as a receiver). It’s quite possible he will make Centennial’s Nebraska-bound QB Taylor Martinez from last year’s bowl game look slow. There’s no question that if the DLS defense can hang with this group, then a trip to the CIF Open Championship will be all but locked up.

Chace Bryson

  • cash flow

    smart choice of words to say CIF Open Championship….I wonder what Grant is looking like this year

  • ManO’War

    Class move by Coach Ladouceur to recommend MV-Foothill game for ESPNU, for sure! Also it probably: 1)highlights EBAL strength well, (e.g., two Pac-10 signed QB’s), thereby elevating DLS status? 2)demotivates big opponents (MV and Foothill) slightly because who would want to beat such a nice guy after that – not exactly locker-room material! Principle: Say nice things – publicly at least – about your opponents….?

  • NorCalSportsFan

    Lakeland weakness I am hearing is very inexperienced line on both sides. On defense their LBs and CBs are very good, and QB is big playmaker. The WR they have is a huge playmaker and a top FL sprinter which says alot. In any event they will be no match for St Thomas Aquainas in the FL playoffs. I think DBP will the be tougher game of the two with the Spartan’s traveling. The Spartan’s will also have a bye week fefore Lakeland meaning one extra week to prepare for the Dreadnaughts.

  • 925 fan

    great preview on the games. definitely if the spartans stay fired up for the two out of state games(assuming they win) it’s gonna be a long year of blowouts for the ebal. whoever wins monte vista/foothill is second to the green machine, but interestingly enough both have home games against dls.

    also, chace is the don bosco game on espnu?

    hope the rest of the country doesnt get tired of it. when’s the last time you heard about all the exposure norcal’s getting even on a national level? and not just de la salle? woo hoo we might even get more air time than socal lol

  • 925 fan

    the sacramento showdown is cool too. too bad grant’s not there playing pitt, or dls for that matter, but the bay’s gonna be the stronger norcal section. i heard b-high is in there as well? they’re playing at sacramento cc but not sure if it’s part of the event. would be great for the east bay. coach zo’s home and home with pittsburg is looking good too. can we get a blog for that or the usual score updates on the big game list page?

  • is the lakeland game on friday or saturday the 25th or 26th….vs.DLS?

  • Chace Bryson

    The Lakeland game is on Fri., Sept. 25. It is on TV (ESPNU). The Don Bosco game (Sat., Sept. 12), will not be televised live on the West Coast. It’s possible that a tape delayed broadcast could be available the following day, but I’m still awaiting details on that.

  • bill gunn

    Bosco killed them 30-6 without two starting lineman. Bosco apperas to be a team with speed and very hard hitters who wiped DLS………..