CONCORD -- For the last few years, the De La Salle High football team has endured some of its most challenging tests of the regular season against California.
But the Spartans look to be in playoff form a little early this season.
In what coach Justin Alumbaugh described as his team's best game yet, De La Salle cruised to a 55-0 win Friday night at Owen Owens Field to finish off a second straight unbeaten regular season.
The Grizzlies (8-2), coached by De La Salle graduate Eric Billeci, are no slouches. Last week, they wrapped up the first outright East Bay Athletic League championship in school history.
"It seems like the last five years we've played them it's just been a dogfight," said Alumbaugh, who was teammates with Billeci at De La Salle in 1995 and 1996. "We haven't played (Cal) all that physically. Those guys have been hit for hit with us and that's not something that we were real happy about. The emphasis all week was making sure we outhit those guys."
Cal was without injured starting quarterback Cameron Owen, but the Grizzlies' defense struggled just as much as their offense.
De La Salle (10-0) never punted, failing to score only on a botched field goal attempt as the halftime buzzer sounded.
John Velsaco rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries, and Antoine Custer added 93 rushing yards on just six carries. Custer scored on a 49-yard run on the Spartans' opening drive and later returned a punt 45 yards for a score. De La Salle led 34-0 at halftime.
Velasco broke off an 80-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half, opening the door for the Spartans' backups to finish off the rout.
It was a far more decisive result than most De La Salle-Cal meetings, including last season when the Spartans couldn't put away the Grizzlies until the final period, winning 27-14.
"This year we came out with a lot more energy and a lot more focused," De La Salle quarterback Chris Williams said.
Williams was 4 of 4 passing for 91 yards. He hit Marquis Morris for a 45-yard touchdown and also scored on a 3-yard keeper.