Two-Loss Spartans Team Silences Doubters With A Convincing Road Win Over NorCal’s No. 1-Ranked Folsom •
TOP PHOTO: De La Salle running back Charles Greer. (Ike Dodson photo)
Folsom High football coach Paul Doherty darted back and forth along the postgame handshake line between his Bulldogs and De La Salle.
“Where’s 60?,” he said.
As media members and Folsom assistant coaches attempted to get his attention, Doherty finally cut across the stream of handshakes and ran toward the north end of the field where De La Salle players were exiting. He was on a mission to personally congratulate Spartans lineman, Chase Tofeano — who wears No. 60.
Tofeano was an absolute force on De La Salle’s defensive interior Friday night. His first half included a tackle for loss, a pass deflection at the line of scrimmage and a blocked punt. Behind his efforts, as well as two-way players Cooper Flanagan and Chase’s brother, JJ Tofeano, the Spartans defense delivered its best showing of the season in the 31-10 win.
Folsom entered the game undefeated and having scored 54 points or more in five of its first six games. Folsom quarterback Tyler Tremain hadn’t thrown less than four TDs in any game this fall, but was held to just one while under constant pressure from the Spartans front.
“I thought he was outstanding,” Alumbaugh said of Chase Tofeano. “And he was taking on a triple team almost every play. We were running a three-man front a good portion of the game. He was eating up two to three blockers and getting through, and letting his brother JJ get some free run. … Chase was great.”
De La Salle (4-2) never trailed in the game, grabbing the lead just 11 seconds in when Zeke Berry took the opening kickoff 88 yards to the house. It was one of three special teams plays that led directly to 17 of the Spartans’ 31 points.
In addition to Berry’s return, De La Salle also picked up a touchdown just two plays after Tofeano’s punt block set the offense up on the Folsom 6-yard line. Running back Charles Greer punched it in from six yards out for a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Special teams would also directly add three more points with 4:25 left in the first half when Jordan Kennedy drilled a 43-yard field goal.
“I don’t really like kicking field goals,” Alumbaugh said, “but (Jordan) was like, ‘Coach, I’ll make it.’ And I said, ‘How far is it again?’ He replied, ‘Doesn’t matter. I’ll make it. I thought it was five yards closer, but when he lined up I was like, ‘Oh man.’ … He nailed it.”
Folsom (6-1) picked up its only touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Tremain to DJ Brown right before the half. The prolific quarterback threw for 271 yards, but needed 48 attempts. He would end up leaving the game due to injury midway through the fourth quarter. Junior tight end Walker Lyons had the biggest night for Folsom, catching 11 passes for 156 yards.
The Bulldogs won’t have a lot of time to lick their wounds as they’ll need to travel to undefeated Rocklin this coming Friday for a matchup that will decide the Sierra Foothill League title. De La Salle will host an undefeated California-San Ramon team that knocked off NorCal No. 20 Clayton Valley-Concord 19-18 on Friday.
As for the CIF Bowl implications of De La Salle’s win over Folsom, that will be likely be dependent on the Central Coast Section champion. Since St. Francis-Mountain View defeated the Spartans back on Sept. 10, it would seem that the Lancers — or another undefeated CCS Open Division champion that held a win over St. Francis — would have the inside track to the CIF Open Division bid. In that scenario, De La Salle and Folsom could quite possibly face each other again in a regional playoff.
Frank Payne and Adam Towell each had two touchdown runs as the Las Lomas Knights held off Acalanes-Lafayette 35-34 in another Diablo Athletic League shootout. Evan Malmquist scored three times for the Dons. Here’s a highlight package from the game.
NORCAL TOP 20 RESULTS
- No. 3 DE LA SALLE def. No. 1 FOLSOM 31-10
- No. 2 ST. FRANCIS-MTN. VIEW def. No. 8 VALLEY CHRISTIAN-SAN JOSE 41-27
- No. 4 SERRA-SAN MATEO def. Riordan-S.F. 36-6
- No. 5 PITTSBURG def. Heritage-Brentwood 49-14
- No. 6 ROCKLIN def. Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills 21-0
- No. 7 BELLARMINE-SAN JOSE def. Archbishop Mitty-San Jose 42-24
- No. 9 LOS GATOS def. Homestead-Cupertino 37-0
- No. 10 CENTRAL CATHOLIC-MODESTO def. Kimball-Tracy 55-16
- No. 11 JESUIT-CARMICHAEL def. Cosumnes Oaks-Elk Grove 41-6
- No. 12 SAN RAMON VALLEY-DANVILLE def. Amador Valley-Pleasanton 41-13
- No. 13 ST. MARY’S-STOCKTON def. Lodi 28-18
- No. 14 MENLO-ATHERTON-ATHERTON def. Half Moon Bay 47-46
- No. 17 GRANITE BAY def. Grant-Sacramento 28-14
- No. 18 MANTECA def. Weston Ranch-Stockton 57-7
- No. 19 SALINAS def. Seaside 47-0
- California-San Ramon def. No. 20 CLAYTON VALLEY-CONCORD 19-18