CONCORD -- A serious case of the dropsies put the De La Salle High football team in a self-induced hole Friday against visiting Mullen of Denver.
Once the Spartans fixed the problem, it was off to the races as they scored 23 unanswered points in the second half to beat the Mustangs 30-13 at Owen Owens Field.
Fumbles plagued De La Salle (2-0) in the first half, as the Spartans dropped the ball five times and gave it away three times to Mullen (1-1).
Twice, it resulted in Mullen points. First, Michael Moore made an acrobatic catch to haul in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Gasper Dominici. Later in the half, Patrick Healy stripped De La Salle's Tiapepe Vitale of the ball and returned it 88 yards to put Mullen up 13-7 at halftime.
"We were blocking the wrong guys, chasing the wrong guys, and I thought we gave them their two scores," De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur said. "I was confident we could win this game, but we kind of played like we practiced at times."
The Spartans roared back in the second half. Chris Williams scored on a 1-yard plunge, and De La Salle went up 14-13.
But things didn't really swing De La Salle's way until its next score. A great throw and catch from Williams to Andrew Buckley on fourth-and-12 left the ball on Mullen's 2, and Tiapepe Vitale scored one play later.
De La Salle's defense continued to dominate, holding Mullen to two first downs in the second half.
"I thought our defense put
Vitale finished with 129 yards on 22 carries, and Dasmond Tautalatasi had 70 yards on eight carries.