It was hyped as a matchup of two of the top high school football programs of the past 20 years. It concluded as another whitewash for the most successful and high profile program in America, which has continued its meteoric rise after a season-opening loss in Texas.
USA TODAY High School Sports Super 25 No. 13 De La Salle rolled past unranked but historically powerful Long Beach Poly 52-6. The Spartans jumped out to a 22-6 lead at halftime, with Poly requiring a late kick return for a touchdown just to get on the board. All facets of the Spartans’ offense proved virtually unstoppable, but De La Salle’s ground game was particularly impressive, racking up 280 yards on 60 carries, dominating both time of possession and yardage statistics.
It was that kind of night for De La Salle, where all the finite details about execution and system schematics came to fruition in perfect measure. The Jackrabbits, regardless of their athleticism, just couldn’t keep up. De La Salle’s lead ballooned to 43-6 in a third quarter in which the Spartans scored 21 points in a 100-second span. Really. By the time the fourth quarter started, Poly was served with a running clock, an indignity rarely visited on the program which is now led by Super Bowl champion linebacker and Poly-alum Antonio Pierce.
The loss dropped Poly to 5-2, with three winnable games ahead before the sectional and state bowls loom. That gives the Jackrabbits plenty of time to recover and mount a serious run at a sectional title, and perhaps more. For De La Salle, the hunt for a national title may still be on, and now back with a vengeance.