Sunday, September 22, 2002
[ HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ]
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
De La Salle's Cameron Colvin plucked a pass deflected by St. Louis' Jonah Lakatani last night at Aloha Stadium.
Spartans didntDe La Salle flew over to Hawaii with its highly touted veer offense, and the Spartans remained airborne when they got here.
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Triple-option ground game? Yes. But it was over-the-top passing that led to three first-half touchdowns in their 31-21 victory over St. Louis in the highly anticipated showdown of national powers. The Spartans' passing game opened up their running game, which produced all three early TDs.
With quarterback Britt Cecil at the controls, wide receivers Cameron Colvin and De-Montae Fitzgerald did their stuff to move the ball, setting the tone early.
"We knew we had to mix it up. St. Louis is such a physical team that we knew we couldn't keep pounding it on them," De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur said. "We knew we had to go over the top sometimes, and we picked our spots and it worked out right. The first half went just right, I thought."
Colvin made two leaping catches in the first quarter, including his best Lynn Swann imitation by jumping high over a defender and remaining in the air long enough to cradle a bobbling ball. Earlier, he jumped high over two Crusaders and came down with a 46-yard reception that led to the first score of the game.
"Cameron is an outstanding athlete," Ladouceur said. " We thought he could jump over their corner to catch passes. He plays a lot like (St. Louis receiver Jason) Rivers.
Colvin spotted a mismatch on St. Louis corner Jonah Lakatani.
"We saw some advantages for us, we saw some speed differences," Colvin said. "I looked out to the right and saw (Lakatani) and saw a big height advantage and I thought we could blow by them and make some big plays."
Fitzgerald took over, doing the brunt of the receiving work on the visitors' third drive with two catches for 48 yards on the Spartans' way to the end zone.
The De La Salle line afforded plenty of time for Cecil to throw all night. He was sacked just once, a 7-yard loss in the second half. He finished with 116 yards on 6-of-10 passing. He threw just twice in the second half, when the team opted for ball control and St. Louis mounted a comeback that eventually failed.
The St. Louis passing game also showed some signs of brilliance after its running game failed to penetrate De La Salle's defense.
Quarterback Bobby George and Rivers teamed up for 32 yards on three receptions in St. Louis' scoring drive near the end of the first half, but the big play was a 47-yard George to Shane Butcher completion.
George found several receivers for mid-range gains on St. Louis' second drive and he hit a streaking Butcher with a long 65-yard scoring pass near the end of the game.
George ended 18 of 27 for 258 yards. Butcher finished with five catches for 135 yards.
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