7

DLS-Aquinas final thoughts

I find myself with some time as we cross over Texas, so I thought I’d provide some final thoughts from St. Thomas Aquinas’ 30-6 win over De La Salle last night.

For starters, I think anyone who watched on ESPN2 knows that the better team won. Now, that’s not to say that De La Salle isn’t going to be just as good as always as the season progresses. I have a hunch they could. But, for as many times as the Spartans shot themselves in the foot, the Raiders were there to take advantage. By the end of the year, Aquinas will most definitely be in the discussion for another national title.

I thought the units of the game for the Spartans were the offensive line and the linebackers. DLS was able to run up the middle whenever it wanted, but with only one running back (Vitale) with any experience at all, it was tough to sustain. I thought the line played well against some big boys. I also thought the linebackers flew around and made some nice plays, and thought Michael Barton played very well.

One big question coming home is still the passing game. I thought Bart Houston came out very confident and looking sharp, but as the game wore on, he wasn’t as effective. He’ll continue to search for that rhythm next week against Livermore. I also thought he could’ve gotten a little more help last night. There were a couple drops, and a few first-down penalties put the Spartans in 1st and 15 situations. That allowed Aquinas to prepare for the pass a little easier.

The turnover problems that plagued DLS last night are also a tremendous concern, and ball security will be a priority in practice this week, I’m sure. Coach Bob Ladouceur was understandably disgusted with it, as I’m sure everyone watching at home was.

The bottom line coming home today is that the Spartans are no worse off than they were before Florida in terms of the rest of the season. How serious Dasmond Tautalatasi’s injury is could be a factor, but we’ll see. The biggest question for the Spartans is did the team learn anything? If it did, then the rest of the season should be business as usual. If not, well, things could be rocky.

A quick comment on the scene last night. It was intense. We drove down from the hotel just watching the lightning storm in the distance and man, it was impressive. We parked in the parking garage at Aquinas and took a stroll through numerous tailgate parties. My Cal hat got a few sideways glances. We got into the stadium and the celebs were definitely out, with Michael Irvin and Bryan Cox easy to spot. I heard a rumor Dan Marino was there, but I never saw him. Cris Carter was on the sideline for the Raiders, and judging by a couple of the catches they made, he’s making an impact. It was a hot, sticky night and the crowd brought it big time. Great atmosphere at Piccolo Stadium.

I hope everyone had fun following the game and our updates this weekend. Big time thanks to the Aquinas staff and coach Rocco Casullo, who was extremely cooperative and accomodating to me.

Be sure to join Jimmy Durkin and I on Monday at 4 p.m. for our weekly chat. I have a hunch you guys might have some questions about DLS and Aquinas. See ya then.

Ben Enos

  • Joe curry

    De la salle played a great game and have very good players. The only question is why do they have to go to Florida to get a good game? How about teams like Grant, Pleasant grove and Folsom. Here is my point losing against a good team like AQUINAS last night de la salle always can say we lost to the best team in the country without losing there max prep standings. When in fact they play marginal teams all year.I know about 4 Sacramento teams that would like to play the great De la Salle. The quarterback for De la Salle is marginal at best {Wisconsin?} Bart should try his talents against some major public school programs till next time

  • scoop

    Never have i seen de la salle play so sloppy in my life, they out gained them had no trouble moving the ball. But too many turnovers, Good game De la salle, When you think of NOR cal Football you think of de la salle.

  • BVAL Expert

    Its simple they lost more than alot of players to fo graduation.. they filled in alot of spots this year

  • S1lverngreen

    Very long flight home..Ben, thanks for the great coverage. I’ll state the obvious, when you play a team like STA, you cannot make mistakes, great teams like STA capitalize…time to regroup and focus on league…i have to admit, I am glad we play Cal High and SRV later in the season, i expect these two teams to push my Spartans…

  • http://aol YoMama

    It’s pretty obvious- Houston needs a reality check now. Lad can’t do that for him. He has to step up. He’s more than capable.
    Lopina, Anthony G., Blake Wayne and McCuillary all had the same problem.
    He’s not Matt G., he never had a letdown.
    To become a man ready fore college football, the time is now. The QB has to make the receivers better. The QB in any system has to make the running game better. The QB keeps the defense off the field.
    When that happens, he will follow in his former mates shoes and win NC and get some kind of state bid.
    I hope he’s reading this, cus if he’s being pampered, it stops now. At DeLa level, this is reality, not trying humilate anyone- that goes for you to Lad, it’s you guys job to push this potential Div 1 QB to his limits.

  • Mr. Han

    “Ten years from now people will be talking about how the Jets(1050) defeated the hornets(2000+) and their coaches tried to slow the game down by lying to the refs saying that ENCINAL put hits out on their players. Same ol good o boys routine.” hella funny. But, Encinal still remembers your “spooks” comment (fact)…! Go and glorify that loss Suckas…! In the words of Nailhouse DR “see you at the top.

  • Mr. Han

    Mr. Han Says:
    September 24th, 2011 at 6:53 pm
    “Ten years from now people will be talking about how the Jets(1050) defeated the hornets(2000+) and their coaches tried to slow the game down by lying to the refs saying that ENCINAL put hits out on their players. Same ol good o boys routine.” hella funny. But, Encinal still remembers your “spooks” comment (fact)…! Go and glorify that loss Suckas…! In the words of Nailhouse DR “see you at the top.”