De La Salle beats #1 Corona Centennial for CIF Open Division

De La Salle football


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The last postseason game of the high school football season in the nation came down to the final five minutes.

At the end of a back-and-forth second half, De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) held on for a 28-21 victory against Centennial (Corona, Calif.) in the CIF Open Division Bowl on Saturday in Sacramento.

De La Salle, which began the season at No. 1 in the USA TODAY Super 25 Preseason rankings, lost its season opener in Texas to Euless Trinity and then ran off 13 consecutive wins to finish 13-1. With the win, De La Salle won its fifth CIF Open title and sixth state title overall.

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Centennial (14-1) started its final drive on its own 30-yard line with 5:29 remaining. The Huskies twice converted fourth downs – one on fourth-and-5 from the 35 on an offsides penalty by De La Salle and on another fourth-and-five on a J.J. Taylor run. The drive ended when Centennial, facing a fourth-and-11 on the 45 with 1:08 remaining, threw an incomplete pass.

The eventual victory margin came on a 26-yard run by De La Salle QB Anthony Sweeney with 9:57 remaining in the game. An early fourth-quarter interception by De La Salle’s Nick Lopez and a stop on fourth-and-6 at the 15-yard line thwarted Centennial’s offense.

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Each team scored twice in the third quarter.

Sammonte Bonner caught an 8-yard TD at the back of the end zone to give Centennial a 14-7 lead with 9:28 remaining in the third.

Jonathan Harvey answered with a 48-yard TD reception with 6:20 left in the third to even the score at 14-14.

A 10-yard TD reception from Javon McKinley from Anthony Catalano gave Centennial a 21-14 lead with 4:24 left in the third quarter.

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Then, Antoine Custer’s 63-yard run for De La Salle evened the score at 21-21. Custer also scored on a 4-yard run in the first half.

A year ago, these teams met in the same game and a combined 105 points were scored with De La Salle winning 63-42. At halftime this year, the score was 7-7.

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.

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