CONCORD -- When the De La Salle High football team lines up to play Bellarmine Prep-San Jose on Friday at 7 p.m. at San Jose City College, there won't be any break-in period for the 2012 season.
Based on what happened one year ago, nobody needs to remind the Spartans of that fact.
Last year, the Bells needed only to kick a point-after in overtime to end De La Salle's then-211 game unbeaten streak against Northern California opponents. The attempt sailed wide left, though, and the Spartans went on to win with a touchdown in the second overtime.
It was De La Salle's only real brush with defeat in California last year, as the rest of the season featured a plethora of lopsided games. Without that bit of opening week magic, it's likely the Spartans would not have been invited to play in the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division bowl game.
"With our Bellarmine game last year, we were a PAT away from being out of the Open game," De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur said. "We know it's going to be important, and I think we're going to show up understanding that, too."
Bellarmine went on to have a fantastic season of its own, reaching the CIF Division I title game. Whether that game served as a springboard or not, it proved that the Bells weren't too far behind when it came to Northern California supremacy in 2011.
"Yeah, it was a tough loss because we were so proud of our players," Bellarmine coach Mike Janda said.
Both teams will have a host of new faces this year, including two new quarterbacks. Chris Williams will make his first varsity start for De La Salle, and Vanderbilt-commit KJ Carta-Samuels will do the same for Bellarmine.
"We have been pounding home the concept that Bellarmine is a class program," De La Salle defensive coordinator Terry Eidson said. "Regardless of what year it is and who played last year, they are going to come to compete."
Staff writer Darren Sabedra contributed to this story. Follow Ben Enos on Twitter at @ben_enos
Visit www.contracostatimes.com/high-school-sports or www.insidebayarea.com/high-school-sports on Friday at 7 p.m. for live scoring updates from high school football games from throughout the East Bay.