Bulldogs Brace for Spartan Invasion
by Will James
When it comes to promoting a high profile football game, all too often the promotion far exceeds the actual attraction of the event. Fortunately, that’s not the case for Friday’s eagerly awaited marquee match-up when the De La Salle Spartans come calling to re-engage the Folsom Bulldogs in a contest saturated with various elements of premium attraction.
This game — which features Folsom, the most dominant local team for more than a decade, against an elite team from a legendary program in Concord — will be televised Friday on Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game of the Week.
The live telecast begins its pre-game run-up at 6:45 pm, with the opening kickoff at 7:00 pm and may be seen in Sacramento County on Comcast or Consolidated Communications Cable channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will also be streamed live from AccessSacramento.org and on the NFHS Network.
Buoyed by its rich tradition and imposing reputation as a perennial powerhouse, De La Salle‘s mystique is not exaggerated. One only has to consider its phenomenal achievements including a record 151-game winning streak and undefeated record spanning 12 years, and its 318 consecutive victories against NorCal opponents.
However, a slight crack in the Spartans’ armor was visible earlier this season when St. Francis of Mountain View dealt De La Salle its first loss (31-28) to a team north of Fresno in 30 years. The crack widened last week when the Spartans fell 42-28 to national heavyweight, St. Francis Academy of Baltimore.
Nevertheless, Spartans’ Head Coach, Justin Alumbaugh brings a formidable squad to town with an uncharacteristic 3-2 record, along with a king size chip on its shoulders. Powered by Running Backs Zeke Barber, Luke Dermon, and A.J. Bianchina, the Spartans’ Veer Offense and 45-point scoring average are formidable.
On the flip side, Folsom Bulldogs’ Head Coach Paul Doherty’s pass-heavy offense featuring Quarterback Tyler Tremain, averages 53 points while showcasing big play Wide Receivers Rico Flores, Justin Arnaz, Lucas Wolfe, Greco Carrillo, and Tight End Walker Lyons. Rapidly emerging Running Back Donovan Maxie-Parler is not to be overlooked.
In four previous meetings with the usually high-scoring Bulldogs, the Spartans are undefeated and have outscored Folsom 150-59, with the Bulldogs’ best effort coming in 2018 in a 14-0 road loss. The two teams collectively average about 100 points, but the key will be whichever defense can rise to the occasion.
It is an occasion that will surely draw a capacity/overflow crowd to Folsom’s Prairie City Stadium. If you don’t want to deal with the traffic and crowd, you’re invited to pull up an easy chair and tune-in to Access Sacramento’s Hometown Sports Game of the Week. Will James, Jim Dimino and Lauren Goodman call the action.