Centennial knows what it takes to beat De La Salle. They were the last Southern California team to beat the Spartans in 2008 before St. John Bosco did in 2013.
To beat De La Salle, you have to play a near-perfect game because the Spartans will take advantage of your mistakes. That’s what happened in the Open Division state bowl game as De La Salle prevailed 63-42 to win its sixth CIF state championship.
Three consecutive Centennial turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble) led to 14 De La Salle points. Despite racking up 534 total yards that would have broken the Open Division record for total yards of offense, Centennial’s mistakes kept them scoreless after Javon McKinley’s 87-yard touchdown on a kickoff return tied the game at 42 with 5:07 left in the third quarter.
They also had no answer for the Spartans’ running attack as De La Salle set state bowl game records for rushing yards (559) and total yards of offense (595). Antoine Custer set Open Division records in carries (31) and rushing yards (268) while tying another with four touchdowns.
All was not lost for Centennial as they scored the most points on De La Salle since 1979. JJ Taylor returned from missing the previous three games by rushing for 133 yards on 14 carries. McKinley continued his stellar postseason performance with six catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Anthony Catalano had 172 passing yards and 102 rushing yards as Centennial will be one of the favorites to return to the state final in 2015.
After starting 1-2, the Huskies rebounded to win their next 11 games, including winning the Pac-5 Division championship by going through one of the toughest slates in recent state history. So all in all, it was another fine year for Matt Logan and his staff.
In the end, however, their efforts were not enough to unseat De La Salle and the Huskies are now 1-3 all-time against the Spartans.