CONCORD -- The De La Salle High football team's powerful rushing attack was complemented by an improved passing game in a 47-21 victory over San Ramon Valley on Friday night.
The visiting Wolves (1-3) played the Spartans tough at the start, taking two leads in the opening half. But De La Salle (5-0) scored 33 straight points to put the game out of reach and end San Ramon Valley's challenging nonleague schedule with a third straight loss.
"Our kids have been resilient, but I think we ran into the toughest kid on the block, and we just ran out of people that could stand up to them," San Ramon Valley coach Mark Kessler said.
With a matchup against Southern California power Servite-Anaheim on deck for next week, the Spartans made a concerted effort to have more balance in their offense. Quarterback Chris Williams responded by putting the ball on target most of the night, completing his first five passes and finishing 7 of 9 for 188 yards.
"We needed to spread out the offense because we know once we get down the road, we're going to need to be able to throw the ball more," Williams said. "So we tried to work on that tonight and got better at it."
The Spartans running game was strong, as usual.
John Velasco rushed for a career-high 193 yards before leaving midway through the third quarter with an ankle injury. The injury isn't considered serious and De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh expects Velasco to play against Servite next week.
The Wolves' bus arrived at De La Salle just 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff, but they got off to a fast start anyway.
San Ramon Valley recovered a fumble on the Spartans' first drive, then marched down the field to take a 6-0 lead when Marcus de la Pena caught a 41-yard screen pass from Matt Winaker.
The Spartans went on to score on two straight possessions with Williams completing big pass plays, then running in for touchdowns on both drives.
But the Wolves didn't go away. After the Carter Nichols intercepted Williams on a tipped pass, San Ramon Valley took a 15-14 lead with 8:17 left in the first half as Winaker connected on a 20-yard field goal.
But the Spartans' responded immediately. Antoine Custer shook off multiple tackles on a 10-yard scoring run, then Velasco broke free for a 52-yard TD. De La Salle led 28-15 at half and outscored the Wolves 13-0 in the third period.