The final high school football game of the year, for the entire country, was played out at Sacramento State on Saturday night. And, fittingly, it was a classic.
Scoring the final two touchdowns, and with the defense standing strong in the second half, De La Salle High School toppled MaxPreps national No. 1 Centennial of Corona 28-21 at Hornet Stadium in the CIF State Open Division Championship Bowl game that was expected to a fun one to the finish.
De La Salle started the season nationally ranked No. 1, and it has every argument to finish there again for the 11th time since 1998 and for the second successive season. The Spartans of Concord beat Centennial 63-42 last season in the Open final in Carson to finish top-ranked nationally and No. 1 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports for the 21st time.
Antoine Custer rushed for 120 yards on 18 carries and had touchdown runs of four yards in the first quarter and 63 in the fourth for De La Salle (13-1), which lost its season opener in the final minutes at Trinity of Texas.
The Spartans won a record sixth CIF Open Bowl and seventh state title overall since the CIF started the state-bowl concept in 2006.
Anthony Sweeney, considered perhaps the finest quarterback leader in De La Salle history, passed for 76 yards and ran for 74 yard yards, none more needed than his 26-yard scoring burst for the final tally with 34 seconds expired in the fourth quarter.
JJ Taylor rushed for 175 yards for Centennial (14-1), and Anthony Catalano had 104 and a score.
An announced crowd of 8,473 attended the game at Sac State in the first year the upper-division title rounds were held at Hornet Field. The two-day attendance for the CIF Bowls at Sac State was 14,626.