De La Salle of Concord (13-0) takes on Centennial of Corona (12-2) on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the StubHub Center in Carson. The game will be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable’s TWC SportsNet in Southern California and on Comcast SportsNet Plus in Northern California. For a live stream go to: www.TWCcommunity.com.
By Devin Ugland
Special to CalHiSports.com
Head coach Justin Alumbaugh (2nd season, 27-1 overall) and his team at De La Salle defeated Pittsburg 35-0 in the CIF North Coast Section Division I championship. Head coach Matt Logan (18th season, 197-44 overall) and his team at Centennial defeated St. John Bosco of Bellflower (last year’s CIF Open Division champion), 48-41, in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division championship.
MORE ON DE LA SALLE
League: No league – independent/freelance
Cal-Hi Sports Top 25 overall state ranking: No. 1
Cal-Hi Sports bowl game ranking: No. 1 (Division I)
CIF State Bowl History: De La Salle has been in a CIF state bowl game every season since its inception in 2006. DLS lost to Canyon of Canyon Country, 27-13, in the D1 final in 2006, beat Corona Centennial, 37-31, in 2007 D1 game, lost to Corona Centennial, 21-16, in 2008 D1 game, beat Crenshaw, 28-14, in 2009 Open Division, beat Servite, 48-8, in 2010 Open Division, beat Westlake, 35-0, in 2011 Open Division, beat Corona Centennial, 48-28, in 2012 Open Division and lost to St. John Bosco, 20-14, in 2013 Open Division.
Best Win: The Spartans, who haven’t been tested much this season, probably got their best win on the season against one of South Carolina’s best teams in a 56-28 win over Byrnes of Dunbar, SC. Byrnes scored 28 points on De La Salle – the most it has allowed to any opponent this year.
Key Players: QB/WR/DB Chris Vanderklugt (6-1, 180, Jr.), QB/DB Anthony Sweeney (5-9, 160, Jr.), RB/DB Antoine Custer (5-8, 166, Jr.), RB/DB Andrew Hernandez (5-9, 178, Jr.), RB/DB Nick Lopez (5-11, 187, Jr.), RB/LB Alex Colon-Aguilar (5-9, 170, Jr.), WR/DB Adam Mayer (6-1, 205, Sr.), TE/DL Devin Asiasi (6-5, 250, Jr.), TE Sam Phillips (6-3, 200, Sr.), DL/LB Keanu Andrade (5-8, 196, Jr.), OL/LB Cameron Lissarrague (6-1, 220, Sr.), OL/DL Damon Wiley (6-0, 230, Jr.), LB Joe Vranesh (6-1, 180, Jr.), DL Boss Talagoa (6-3, 290, Jr.), DB John Quinn (5-10, 182, Sr.), OL Drew Sullivan (6-3, 315, Sr.).
General Offense: De La Salle brings its triple-option, veer attack to StubHub Center yet again and it’s as effective as ever for the Spartans. Running back Antoine Custer has 155 carries for 1,679 yards and 20 TDs, while Andrew Hernandez has also topped the 1,600-yard mark with 1,632 yards and 27 TDs. Nick Lopez, Alex Colon-Aguilar and Chris Vanderklugt and Anthony Sweeney will also carry the ball for the Spartans. De La Salle won’t pass the ball too much, but will do so to keep defenses honest. Vanderklugt and Sweeney are both threats to throw it and will look for Adam Mayer, Devin Asiasi and Sam Phillips when they do.
General Defense: De La Salle is always known for the speed of its defensive line and the ability of that defensive line to get off the snap quicker than anyone. The D-Line this season is led by junior Damon Wiley who has 11.5 sacks this season. Boss Talagoa has six sacks and Devin Asiasi has five sacks as key contributors on the Spartans’ defensive front. Keanu Andrade leads the linebacking corps for DLS with 94 tackles on the year. Andrade can show different looks, as well, lining up as a defensive end. Cameron Lissarrague and Joe Vranesh are linebackers with 77 and 67 tackles on the season, respectively. The Spartans won’t take many chances in the secondary, but rather play good man-to-man coverage on the outside led by Adam Mayer, Andrew Hernandez, Jonathan Lopez and Jevari Anderson.
Key Injuries: As far as key players go, De La Salle comes in to the Open Division State Bowl game relatively healthy. Vanderklugt has had a hip injury but should be ready to go.
The Skinny: This is De La Salle, is there much more to say? The Spartans and Corona Centennial have a long history of CIF state championship showdowns and just like in years past, it will be a contest of vastly different styles of play.
MORE ON CENTENNIAL
League: Won Big VIII League (5-0)
Cal-Hi Sports Top 25 overall state ranking: No. 2
Cal-Hi Sports bowl game ranking: No. 2 (Division 1)
CIF State Bowl History: Lost to De La Salle, 37-31, in the Division I state game in 2007, beat De La Salle, 21-16, in the Division I state game in 2008, lost to Palo Alto, 15-13, in the Division I state game in 2010, lost to De La Salle in the State Open Division game, 48-28, in 2012.
Best Win: Centennial has had a number of big wins this season with most coming in the grueling Pac-5 playoffs. In the first round, Centennial beat Serra of Gardena 68-64, then beat Mater Dei 27-24, followed that up with a 38-37 win over Bishop Amat and a 48-41 win over St. John Bosco in the Pac-5 finals.
Key Players: QB Nate Ketteringham (6-4, 195, Sr.), QB Anthony Catalano (5-10, 165, Jr.), RB J.J. Taylor (5-6, 160, Jr.), RB Sammonte Bonner (5-9, 175, Jr.), WR Javon McKinley (6-2, 195, Jr.), WR Greyson Bankhead (5-11, 160, Sr., Verbal to Cal), WR Louis Mayela (5-10, 175, Sr.), WR Cameron Jackson (5-7, 154, Jr.), WR Brandon Quinones (6-0, 190, Sr.), LB Zach Brumbaugh (5-11, 220, Jr.), LB Jamal Goodman (5-9, 210, Sr.), DL Quentin Yontz (6-3, 215, Sr.), OLB Tay Winston (5-10, 190, Sr.), DB Camryn Bynum (5-11, 160, Jr.), DB Desmond Williams (5-11, 180, Jr.), S Jihree Stewart (6-0, 185, Sr., Verbal to Oregon), DB Chacho Ulloa (6-0, 185, Jr.), DL Tucker Robinson (6-1, 215, Sr.).
General Offense: If there’s any team that runs the completely opposite offense as De La Salle, it’s Centennial. The Huskies run a no-huddle, spread attack with two different quarterbacks that can throw the ball and run it equally well. Nate Ketteringham has completed 93 of his 146 passes for 1,890 yards and 19 touchdowns, while Anthony Catalano has completed 113 of 178 for 1,832 yards and 20 TDs. Catalano has 68 carries for 482 yards and five scores and Ketteringham has eight rushing touchdowns on 63 carries which have gone for 355 yards. The main source at the running back position is J.J. Taylor. Taylor has 207 carries on the year which have gone for 1,788 yards and 27 touchdowns. Sammonte Bonner is the second running back option, picking up 671 yards on 135 carries with eight scores. Javon McKinley, who was recently offered by USC, is the favorite target among Centennial receivers. The junior has 91 receptions for 1,909 yards and 23 TDs. Greyson Bankhead is second in line with 56 catches for 957 yards and 11 TDs. Louis Mayela, Cameron Jackson and Brandon Quinones will also be targeted in the pass-game.
General Defense: Quentin Yontz anchors the Huskies defensive line, tallying 12.5 sacks and 94.5 tackles on the season. Tay Winston and Tucker Robinson are two other standouts on the Centennial front, picking up 4.5 sacks each. Zach Brumbaugh is the team’s leader in tackles with 147.5. His counterpart, Jamal Goodman, is second on the team in tackles with 124.5. Oregon-commit Jihree Stewart leads the Centennial defensive backs, along with Camryn Bynum, Desmond Williams and Chacho Ulloa.
Key Injuries: J.J. Taylor, who has missed the past two games after undergoing an appendectomy, has been cleared and will play against De La Salle.
The Skinny: The return of Taylor is huge for Centennial, adding even more fuel to the fire of a team that has put up 46.2 points per game this season. The ability of Ketteringham and Catalano to pass on the De La Salle defense will be a crucial point for the Huskies as it is needed to open things up for Taylor in the running game.
Devin Ugland covers USC men’s basketball and football for TrojanSports.com. He has previously written for the Orange County Register, Long Beach Press-Telegram and Daily Pilot. You can reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @Devin_Ugland.