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L.B. POLY ROUTED IN TITAN REMATCH DE LA SALLE 28, L.B. POLY 7.

Byline: Ted Kian Staff Writer

BERKELEY - The Long Beach Poly High football players spent the past year looking forward to their rematch Saturday with Concord De La Salle, which last season handed the Jackrabbits their first regular-season defeat since 1996.

Those same players, however, now will likely spend the next year trying to forget what took place Saturday in front of 14,000 at Cal's Memorial Stadium. De La Salle extended its national-record victory streak to 130 games by dominating the Jackrabbits from start to finish in a 28-7 victory that was more lopsided than the score indicates.

Poly's coaches and players were able to point to several key plays that made the difference in De La Salle's 29-15 victory over the Jackrabbits last season.

That game marked the first meeting between the consensus highest-ranked prep football teams in the country. USA Today had De La Salle and Poly ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation, respectively, entering Saturday's rematch. But a Poly squad that had only eight starters back from last season did not play up to that billing.

De La Salle scored on its opening drive and essentially put the game away with two long touchdown passes in the third quarter that made it 28-0. The Spartans finished with 237 yards rushing and 237 yards passing.

Senior quarterback Britt Cecil, who completed just 17 of 38 passes for no touchdowns over the Spartans' previous four games this season, picked apart a vulnerable Poly secondary, completing 12 of 17 attempts for 237 yards and three touchdowns.

Furthermore, the Spartans' offensive line did an effective job of clearing holes for standout tailback Maurice Drew, who rushed for 161 yards on 19 carries, and a De La Salle defensive line that averages just 6-feet and 216 pounds a starter used its quickness and technique to penetrate Poly's bigger offensive front.

Spartans coach Bob Ladouceur, who has the highest winning percentage (.951) of any coach in American high school football history, called it the finest performance by a De La Salle team in his 24 years at the program's helm. The Spartans, who have not lost since 1991, are not scheduled to play the Jackrabbits the next two seasons.

``De La Salle did an exceptional job,'' Poly coach Raul Lara said. ``They pretty much did what they wanted on offense and our defense was on the field a lot. Offensively, we never could get on track all day.''
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 13, 2002
Words:408
Previous Article:CROSS COUNTRY: CANYON DASHES TO WIN.
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