Friday night marked the end of non-league play for area prep football with a much anticipated match up between the Folsom Bulldogs and the De La Salle Spartans in the first game of the season on the Bulldogs’ blue turf.
Before a near capacity crowd that packed into Folsom’s Prairie City Stadium, the Bulldogs entered Friday’s game with hopes of redemption against the team that brought their regional title hopes to a grinding halt in post season play last season.
As much as they wanted to avenge that playoff wound, it wasn’t in the cards for Folsom Friday night. The dogs didn’t go down without a hard fight, however, the Spartans fight was just a little harder as they defeated Folsom 14-7.
“I loved almost all of that game,” said De La Salle’s head coach Justin Alumbaugh.“We made mistakes and there are obviously going to be things to clean up. But for the most part, we played our tails off. Folsom is a great team.
De La Salle’s Derrick Blanche Jr. shouldered Friday’ ground game with 23 carries for 123 yards, while Dominic Kelley contributed 25 rushes for 108 yards. The Spartans (3-2) asserted their dominance by controlling the clock for twice as long as the Bulldogs (3-2), maintaining a 32-minute to 16-minute advantage in time of possession.
Blanche punched in a 3-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter, and quarterback Toa Faavae sealed the deal with a 1-yard sneak late in the third quarter, extending De La Salle’s lead to 14-0.
Folsom, reminiscent of their earlier loss to Serra, launched a comeback led by the impressive sophomore quarterback Ryder Lyons. Lyons connected with Abram Woodson for a 9-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, narrowing the score to 14-7.
However, De La Salle effectively managed the clock and field position, with Faavae executing a perfect punt that pinned Folsom at their own 1-yard line. Lyons led a valiant effort but was intercepted by Trisshon Wright at the Folsom 35 with 3:33 remaining. The Spartans sealed the victory by running out the clock, highlighted by Blanche’s 30-yard run.
De La Salle’s opening drive was promising, advancing 65 yards to the Folsom 10, but a penalty on 4th-and-1 forced them to attempt a 32-yard field goal, which was unsuccessful.
The first quarter ended scoreless, with both teams managing just one first down.
The Spartans’ ground-focused offense finally found the end zone with a 3-yard touchdown run by Derrick Blanche Jr. early in the second quarter, giving them a 7-0 lead.
Folsom swiftly moved downfield on an impressive drive, featuring a precise 30-yard pass from Ryder Lyons to Daymion Rivera. However, on 4th-and-goal from the 7-yard line, Lyons was halted at the 1, preserving De La Salle’s 7-0 advantage at halftime.
De La Salle executed another time-consuming drive in the third quarter, culminating in Faavae’s 1-yard touchdown sneak, extending their lead to 14-0 with 2:57 left in the quarter. Kelley’s determined 10-yard run on 4th-and-1 and Blanche’s gritty 5-yard gain set the stage for Faavae’s touchdown.
“De La Salle is impressive as always, said Folsom Bulldogs Coach Paul Doherty, who was disappointed with the outcome of Friday’s game after weeks of preparation in hopes of acing the test against the powerhouse. “They’re tried and true, 40 years later. They’re still great.”
Friday’s powerhouse match up won’t be the only one this season. This coming Friday as the season moves into league play, the Bulldogs will face neighboring rival Oak Ridge.
Vista shuts out Capital Christian 63–0
Folsom’s Vista del Lago Eagles (5-1) traveled to Capital Christian Friday night. As they continued their strong season start for another week, the Eagles kept the Cougars off the scoreboard with a 63-0 shutout.
Friday’s game was the Eagles second league game of the season on the Capital Athletic League where they are now 2-1 and 5-1 overall. Vista will Face El Camino next week. See all of the area game scores below in the Scorestream Scoreboard.
Friday night game photos by Bill Sullivan