Cold temperatures and low winds set the stage for Friday night playoff game. Thunder and lightning approach in the running game helped De La Salle defeat Vandebilt Catholic 34-21 at Joe Brown’s Victory Field. Plenty of hype surrounded the Cavaliers as they embarked on their first home playoff game in over 30 years.
“Nobody has it better than us at De La Salle,” coach Ryan Manale said. “We have worked real hard to get here and it feels great. The kids knew how important this was and they came out and executed. We had a few missed opportunities, but we played well overall. This is just a testament to the kind of program we are building over here at De La Salle.”
Tough running from senior Cole Lewis helped the Cavaliers secure the 13 point victory. Lewis finished with 159 yards on 25 carries. The senior tailback scored on touchdown runs of 13, 2, 4 yards. If Lewis is thunder; running back Jab White is undoubtedly lightning. White gave the Cavaliers big plays in very huge moments. His 65-yard reception just before halftime, help set up the go ahead score. Lewis banged in his second touchdown of the game from 2 yards out as the Cavaliers went up 27-7. White carried the ball six times for 75 yards and added another 114 receiving.
Vanderbilt Catholic came into the playoffs riding a four-game winning streak, after losing their first six. The pesky nature of the Terriers was evident just after halftime. They faced a 20-point deficit to start the second half and scored on the opening drive. Quarterback David Yancey connected with Kane Degruise for a 28-yard touchdown to make the score 27-14. Yancey threw for 127 yards and completed 8-of-19 passes. Running back O’shawn Henderson scored the Terriers final points on a 2-yard run with 5:48 left in the fourth quarter. Henderson would finish with 74 yards on 15 carries.
“We had a lot of chances to stay close, but we left it all on the field”, coach Jeremy Atwell said. “We are a young team and we had a lot of growing pains. We learned from a lot of them and it helped get us here. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to give a win.”
Lewis got the scoring started on the Cavaliers first drive when he rushed in from 13 yards out. Following a Terrier punt, senior quarterback Victor Gaines hit Christian Booker on a 48-yard touchdown pass. The duo would connect again just before halftime on a 27-yard pass. Gaines finished with 189 yards and was 5-of-9 passing. Booker had 75 yards and two touchdowns on just 2 receptions.