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2004 Football Award Winners

Posted by Atif Lodhi at Mar 17, 2005 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
Freshman Football Most Improved Offense Chad O'Shell
Freshman Football Most Improved Defensive   Joshua Teno
Freshman Football Coaches Award Mike Cuddeback
Freshman Football Hustle Award Fred Elias

JV Football Most Improved Offensive Player Anthony   Sabatella
JV Football Most Improved Defensive Player Anthony   Assad
JV Football Team Spirit Award Joe  Miceli

Varsity Football John Vitale Award Matthew Colagiovanni
Varsity Football Most Valuable Player Matthew Colagiovanni
Varsity Football Best Defensive Lineman Ryan  Arnot
Varsity Football Best Defensive Back Mike Rak
Varsity Football Best Linebacker Mike Oliver
Varsity Football Hustler of the Year John LaRocca
Varsity Football Team Spirit Award Matthew Colagiovanni
Varsity Football Best Receiver Bryan Murawski
Varsity Football Best Running Back John LaRocca
Varsity Football Best Offensive Lineman Rob Monarch
Varsity Football Tom Bonino Award David Bemis
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Important Announcement

Posted by Atif Lodhi at Oct 26, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
Dear Fans of De La Salle Football, Due to personal reasons, I must step down from my role with the De La Salle football team, which includes updating this website. I can not and will not be able to help out the De La Salle football team in anyway for the forseeable future. I told Coach Verska of my decision today, October 27th, and have decided to make it public. I didn't want to make a big deal about my own departure, but I felt I had a responsibility to inform the De La Salle Football Family about my decision. I would also like for a dedicated person to take over the responsibility of maintaining this website and being the source where De La Salle football fans get their information from. It would be a shame if after 4 seasons, this website ceased to exist. If you are seriously interested in persuing this duty, please e-mail De La Salle's Director of Public Relations, Vicki Granger, at as soon as possible so I can transfer over the responsibilty of the website as soon as possible. I will not operate and/or update this website past November 20th. Over the past 6 years, I have been very lucky to have been a part of the De La Salle football program as a student manager, statistician, web site maintainer, and assistant coach. I have had the opportunity to see some of the highlights and lowlights of De La Salle football and some awesomely talented players wear the Purple and Gold with pride. I have seen magical comebacks and last second nail biters, the anguish of defeat and the unbridled joy of victory. I have had the opportunity to work under three different head coaches, Ross MacDonald, Tim Brandon, and Paul Verska. I have also had the opportunity to work with some great assistant coaches like Mike Lewis, Mike Szatkowski, and of course, "Tony D", Tony DeSantis. In my short time with the program, I have been blessed by God to see and be apart of many things, which is why this annoucement makes it that much more difficult for me to write. * To the former De La Salle football players and teams I have seen, especially the 1999 and 2002 football teams, thank you for the memories you have given me. * To future De La Salle football players, dream and you can achieve. As former North Carolina State basketball Coach Jim Valvano said shortly before he succumbed to cancer in 1993, "What the mind can dream, the body can achieve." If you dream it, you can will accomplish it. If you wish to win a Catholic League Championship and a State Championship, it can happen if you believe and work towards that goal. The coaches know what it takes to win, so listen and believe in them and they will lead you. Win for those who came before you and took pride in the Purple and Gold and win for those who come after you so they have an example to follow in the future. * As for the countless other people that I have met through De La Salle football, it was a pleasure knowing all of you. I hope I left all of you with a positive reflection of the football program, the school, and of myself. Forever good luck to the De La Salle football team. I will always keep an eye on you from afar. So for the last time, Good Luck, God Bless, and GO PILOTS!!! It has certainly been a pleasure. Sincerely, Atif Lodhi DLS Class of 2000
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Pilots End Season On Historic Note

Posted by Atif Lodhi at Oct 23, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
With neither team having an opportunity at postseason play, De La Salle and Country Day got together Friday night to play for pride and gather momentum for the off-season and the next football season. What occurred over 48 hard fought minutes on October 22nd will surely go down into the annals of De La Salle football history, as the Pilots rallied back from a 28-7 third quarter deficit to beat Country Day 35-28, marking the largest comeback in De La Salle football history. The night started off great for the Pilots as they stuffed Country Day on their opening possession and then subsequently proceeded to go on a 4 play, 48 yard drive, culminated by a John Larocca 37 yard run, to give De La Salle an early 7-0 lead. Country Day got on the board with a little over four minutes to go in the first quarter when Country Day quarter back Nick Potts hooked up with wide receiver Chris Rucker for a 92 yard touchdown pass, the longest touchdown pass allowed in De La Salle Football history, to bring Country Day within one point at 7-6, but the Yellowjackets missed the extra point, allowing to Pilots to retain their lead. In the second quarter, it was all Country Day as they came out and scored 15 points to take a 21-7 lead. The scoring started when De La Salle quarterback Cecil St. Pierre was called for intentional grounding in the endzone, giving DCD 2 gift points, the lead at 8-7, and possession of the ball. Country Day took little time in taking advantage of the miscue, as the Yellowjackets took the free kick from their own 30 to midfield, then taking only four plays to score, with Martin Corniffe scoring from 24 yards out and giving Country Day the lead at 14-7 after a missed extra point. On the very first De La Salle offensive play after the second Country Day touchdown, St. Pierre made another costly mistake, this time throwing an interception to Kenny Demens who took it in for another Country Day touchdown and increasing DCD's lead to 21-7, as the game went to halftime. In the start of the second half, the Pilots got the ball first and moved it from their own 8 yard line to the DLS 39 before giving the ball up on downs. Country Day quickly took advantage of the great field position as Martin Corniffe again scored, this time on the drive's second play from 33 yards out, giving Country Day a seemingly unsurmountable 28-7 lead with 9:18 left in the third quarter. At this point of the game, it was looking rather bleak for the Pilots as the task of overcoming a 21 point deficit in high school football is rather difficult. But in these darkest moments for the De La Salle football team, a new dawn broke as there was still life left in the Pilots to make a comeback and possibly win the game. It all started with one player believing it could happen and and not quitting when times were rough, but instead resolving to end the year on a positive note. Quickly, the attitude spread to the other players, and soon it became apparent that the Pilots were not going to lay down and die, but rather fight back and do all they could in the remaining quarter and a half of the 2004 De La Salle football season to end the season as winners. What happened was something many high school football observers have never seen. What occurred was monumental, incredible, but most of all, historic. The comeback began on the ensuing De La Salle possession after Country Day had taken the 28-7 lead, with the Pilots driving 80 yards in 4 plays, aided by two Don Fowler catches for 75 yards, and bringing the Pilots back to within 14 at 28-14. On the ensuing Country Day possession, Country Day drove down to the DLS 49 yard line, but on the second play of the DCD drive, senior defensive back Dave Bemis stripped the ball away from Martin Corniffe, bringing the ball back to the DLS 43 yard line and giving De La Salle an chance to cut the DCD lead to only seven points. From the DLS 43 yard line, the Pilots drove down 57 yards in 4 plays, this time aided by a 39 yard Bryan Murawski catch down to the Country Day 1 yard line. On the next play, John Larocca dove in for the second DLS touchdown of the third quarter and bringing the Pilots back into the game at 28-21. On the next Country Day possession (mind you, this is still the third quarter), Country Day drove from their own 20 yard line to the DCD 39 yard line where the Pilots caused another fumble, this time forcing Country Day fullback Tom Kane to cough up the football and allowing Dave Bemis to recover the miscue. So, from Country Day 39 yard line, the Pilots drove down the Country Day 8 yard line, where the Yellowjackets sacked DLS QB Cecil St. Pierre on second down and goal back to the DCD 21 yard line. On third and goal from the DCD 21, St. Pierre threw a pass towards WR Mike Rak, but Rak was pushed from behind, causing flags to fly all over. The infraction? Pass interference, Country Day, giving the Pilots the ball the Country Day 11 yard line and a new set of downs. On first down, John Larocca broke two tackles and powered his way into the endzone for his fourth touchdown of the night and bringing the Pilots to within one at 28-27. Unfortunately, the extra point attempt was blocked, so with 55 seconds left in the third quarter, the Pilots still found themselves down 28-27, but felt the surge of momentum pushing them along. On the next Country Day possession, DCD QB Nick Potts overshot his intended receiver and DB Jake Jakubek made him pay by going full extension and intercepting the pass, giving the Pilots the ball at the Country Day 43 yard line. If you are keeping score, that would be three Country Day turnovers on three consecutive drives. After two consecutive penalties on the Pilots, one for holding and one for a false start, the end of the third quarter found the Pilots down 1, with the ball on their own 48 yard line, facing a 2nd down and 19. On the very first play of the fourth quarter, QB Cecil St. Pierre found WR Bryan Murawski on a fade pattern down the sideline for a 52 yard touchdown pass and giving the Pilots their first lead since the second quarter at 33-28. On the extra point attempt, the Pilots faked the kick and holder Jake Jakubek found fullback Craig Sorgi wide open in the endzone for the two point conversion and giving De La Salle a 35-28 lead with 11:51 left in the fourth quarter. For the remainder of the game, De La Salle fought and clawed to preserve the seven point lead. After stopping Country Day on their first possession of the fourth quarter, the Pilots were held to the Country Day 40 yard line and forced to punt. The snap on the punt went over punter Shane Torzy's head, forcing him to grab the ball at the De La Salle 37 yard line with two Country Day defenders bearing down. Torzy ended up punting the ball with his left foot (Shane kicks with his right foot) down to the Country Day 28 yard line where the punt was muffed by DCD return man Chris Rucker and recovered by the Pilots at the Country Day 33 yard line. The extra possession allowed the Pilots to run some more time off the clock, but not enough yardage for a first down, so Country Day took over at its own 25 yard line with about five minutes to go in the game. From there, the Yellowjackets drove the ball 57 yards in 13 plays before facing a 4th down and 8 from the DLS 18 yard line with about a minute to go in the game. On fourth down, Country Day QB Nick Potts dropped back to pass, fired the ball into the endzone where it bounced off a Country Day receiver, then bounced off a De La Salle defender, bouncing back towards another Country Day receiver before landing harmlessly to the turf, ending the Country Day drive and giving De La Salle its largest comeback victory in school history. The game displayed the remarkable perseverance of the De La Salle football team and showed good things can and do happen to a team which gives its all out effort for 48 minutes in a game. So with the victory, the Pilots improve to 4-5 for the 2004 season, but gives hope and renewed passion for the returning players in the off-season and hopefully into next August. A "Year in Review" and updates on what accomplishments were achieved during the 2004 season will be posted on the website very soon. But until then, Good Luck and Go Pilots!!!
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Pilots Lose A Heartbreaker 27-21

Posted by Atif Lodhi at Oct 10, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
For almost four full quarters, the Pilots of De La Salle stood toe to toe against undefeated Orchard Lake St. Mary's and had the Eaglets on the ropes, but the Pilots were never able to delivery the closing blow and the talented St. Mary's team came back and beat the Pilots on Homecoming and Parents Night 27-21 at the Warren Community Center. The scoring came fast and furious in the first half as the two teams combined for five touchdowns in the first 24 minutes of the game. The scoring started off when J.R. Reid scored from 14 yards out to give OLSM a 7-0 lead. The drive was setup by a Cecil St. Pierre interception that was returned to the DLS 16 yard line. The Pilots took over and drove down to the OLSM 17 yard line, but missed a 38 yard field goal. OLSM took over at their own 20, but were driven back to their own 9 yard line due to a holding call on first down. On 3rd down and 20, OLSM running back Malcolm Arrington fumbled at the OLSM 12 where the Pilots recovered and promptly scored three plays later on a Cecil St. Pierre pass to John LaRocca to tie the score at 7. In the second quarter, De La Salle struck again when the Pilots took advantage of a OLSM muffed punt which put the ball on the OLSM 23 yard line. Nine plays later, John LaRocca went around end for a 2 yard touchdown run, putting the Pilots out in front 14-7. St. Mary's answered right back, going 62 yards in 12 plays, ending with a Anthony Alexander 7 yard pass to tight end Chris McLaurin to knot the score back up at 14. After De La Salle went three and out, St. Mary's got the ball on its own 18 yard line, but OLSM running back Stefano Spigno fumbled and the Pilots picked up the ball at the OLSM 17 yard line. From there, De La Salle drove down 17 yard in two plays with Cecil St. Pierre hitting wingback Matt Colagiovanni in the endzone for a 6 yard touchdown pass. St. Mary's drove down to the Pilot 1 yard line towards the end of the first half, but were stuffed as the first half expired, giving De La Salle a 21-14 half time lead. In the third quarter, both teams were held scoreless, but in the fourth quarter, things began to unravel for the Pilots. St. Mary's went on a 65 yard, 9 play drive that ended with J.R. Reid's second touchdown run of the night, tying the score at 21. After exchanging punts, the Pilots had the ball at their own 22, but a failed "hook and ladder" caused a fumble and St. Mary's recovered at the DLS 18 yard line. Two plays later, St. Mary's QB Anthony Alexander again found tight end Chris McLaurin wide open down the middle of the field, giving St. Mary's a 27-21 (extra point was blocked) lead with 3:32 left in the game. De La Salle had one more gasp as the Pilots drove it down to the OLSM 18 yard line, thanks to a 46 yard pass from Cecil St. Pierre to Bryan Murawski, but the Eaglet defense held the Pilots to nothing the next four downs and De La Salle went down to defeat 27-21. The Pilots are now 3-4, 1-2 in conference, as they head to Howard Kraft field next Saturday night, October 16th, to face Catholic Central who also has a 3-4 record and a 1-2 record in conference. Game time will be 7:00 PM. Directions to Howard Kraft field can be found on the website under "Locations" on the left hand side of the website. So until next Saturday night, Good Luck and GO PILOTS!!! News and Notes: Passing wise, Cecil St. Pierre was 17 of 37 for 158 yards with two touchdown passes...The leading De La Salle rusher was John LaRocca who carried the ball 11 times for 46 yards and a touchdown...Mike Oliver was the leading tackler with 15 total tackles...The 37 passes attempted were the most for a De La Salle quarterback since Kevin Shubnell attempted 41 passes against Brother Rice in the first round of the playoffs in 1999...The Pilots recovered three fumbles, all of which led to De La Salle touchdowns...Next week's game against Catholic Central will be the first time since 1971 where both De La Salle and Catholic Central have losing records going into their game...The De La Salle Athletic Hall of Fame inducted its 4th class this weekend, with Eric Ford '86, Richard Sebastian '57, Jack Brusewitz '77, Don DeDonatis '93, Ed Stevens '50, current DLS soccer coach Thaier Mukhtar, and the 1970 and 1971 De La Salle swimming teams being inducted.
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DLS Blocks Their Way Over ND 10-7

Posted by Atif Lodhi at Oct 2, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
For the second time in two years, De La Salle defeated Notre Dame Friday night on a blocked punt as the Pilots beat Notre Dame for the 22nd time in 26 tries since 1979, 10-7 at Harper Woods Notre Dame. The scoring started off early in the second quarter as ND finished off their second drive of the game with a 4 yard touchdown run by Dan Lomasney to give Notre Dame the early 7-0 lead. De La Salle responded right back, going from the DLS 20 yard line all the way down to the ND 8 yard line, aided by a couple huge catches by Bryan Murawski. In the end though, DLS had to settle for a 25 yard Jon DeHondt field goal to make it 7-3, Notre Dame with 6:44 left in the second quarter. After exchanging punts, Notre Dame had the ball on their 25 yard line, but after a holding call and three plays of minimal gain, the Irish set up to punt from their own 23 yard line. But unfortunately for the Irish, senior DB Mike Rak sliced through the ND line and blocked the Justyn Bennsett punt and sophomore Shane Torzy picked up the blocked punt, running it 7 yards into the endzone to give DLS a 10-7 lead going into halftime. In the second half, the DLS defense held Notre Dame in check, aided by two huge interceptions by Mike Rak. The DLS offense chewed up time and yardage, but were unable to put any points on the board due to fumbles. Notre Dame had one last chance with 30 seconds left in the game, but Mike Rak came up with of his two interceptions and DLS came away with their 7th straight win over Notre Dame in typical exciting DLS/ND fashion 10-7. This now leaves DLS at 3-3 on the year, with a huge game against Orchard Lake St. Mary's coming up on Friday, October 8th at the Warren Community Center. Game time is the usual 7 PM. This game is also HOMECOMING, so please come out and support the Pilots on to victory over an unbeaten Orchard Lake St. Mary's team. So until next Friday night, Good Luck and GO PILOTS!!! News and Notes: With the win Friday night, the overall series between De La Salle and Notre Dame now stands at 25-19-2, but with De La Salle having a 22-4 advantage since 1979...Cecil St. Pierre was 7 of 16 for 94 yards...Danny Kosho carried the ball 22 times for 76 yards to lead the DLS rushing attack...Bryan Murawski lead the receiving corps with 3 catches for 56 yards...The blocked punt against Notre Dame was the first blocked punt since against Utica Ford last year in the first game of the 2003 state playoffs...The all-time series between DLS and OLSM stands at 7-5 in favor of St. Mary's.