Mission Viejo, California – December 8th, 2023: Saddleback College Stadium will be alight with anticipation tonight as the De La Salle Spartans and the Mission Viejo Diablos collide in the CIF State Division 1-AA Championship Bowl Game. De La Salle vs Mission Viejo highly anticipated matchup marks the culmination of a season of hard work and dedication for both teams, and the stakes are high as they strive to claim the coveted title. Today live championship match will played at 8:00 PM, at Saddleback College Stadium, Mission Viejo, California.
Game: De La Salle vs Mission Viejo
Date: Decembers 8, 2023
Time: In Progress
Streaming: Watch Live Here
The De La Salle Spartans enter the contest with a formidable 11-2 record, having steamrolled through the North Coast Section playoffs with an average margin of victory exceeding 20 points. Their sole losses came against formidable opponents like Orange Lutheran and Serra, showcasing their ability to learn from setbacks and bounce back stronger.
The Spartans’ offensive attack is well-oiled and explosive, fueled by the dynamic duo of senior quarterback Toa Faavae and junior wide receiver Daniel Garcia. Faavae’s exceptional leadership, quick decision-making, and pinpoint accuracy, combined with Garcia’s sure hands and explosive route-running, make them a nightmare for opposing defenses. Senior running back Michael Johnson adds another dimension to the offense with his punishing running style and ability to find the end zone.
De La Salle’s defense boasts a stout defensive line led by senior tackle Joshua Brown. Brown’s imposing size and strength disrupt opposing running games, creating opportunities for junior linebacker David Smith to rack up tackles and interceptions. The secondary, led by senior safety Michael Garcia, has shown improvement throughout the season and is capable of making timely interceptions and tackles.
The Mission Viejo Diablos are a force to be reckoned with, boasting a respectable 12-3 record. They have overcome a challenging schedule, including losses to Long Beach Poly and St. John’s of Washington, D.C., showcasing their resilience and ability to compete against the best.
The Diablos’ offensive attack is a balanced threat, spearheaded by senior quarterback Luke Fahey. Fahey’s leadership and experience provide stability, while his ability to manage the game effectively and distribute the ball to his talented playmakers keeps defenses on their toes. Senior running back Hinesward Lilomaiava provides a consistent rushing threat with his vision and elusiveness, while junior wide receiver Vance Spafford stretches the field with his speed and acrobatic catches.
Mission Viejo’s defense takes pride in its physicality and aggressive play. Senior linebacker Jack Matranga leads the team in tackles and serves as the defensive anchor, consistently disrupting opponents’ offensive schemes. The secondary, led by senior safety David Johnson, excels in creating turnovers and making crucial interceptions in key moments.
Head-to-Head Matchups: Where the Game Will Be Decided
Several key matchups hold the potential to swing the momentum of the game:
- Toa Faavae and Daniel Garcia vs. Mission Viejo Secondary: Faavae’s ability to find Garcia in tight coverage will be crucial against a talented secondary led by David Johnson.
- Hinesward Lilomaiava vs. De La Salle Defensive Line: Lilomaiava’s elusiveness and ability to break tackles will be tested against a stout defensive line anchored by Joshua Brown.
- David Smith vs. Luke Fahey: Smith’s pressure on Fahey and his ability to make plays in the backfield will be vital in disrupting Mission Viejo’s offensive rhythm.
The 2023 California high school football season witnessed a clash of titans in the CIF Division 1-AA state championship game: the De La Salle Spartans and the Mission Viejo Diablos. This article delves into a comprehensive analysis of their season, highlighting their strengths, weaknesses, and the pivotal moments that defined their journeys.
De La Salle, known for their legendary program and relentless defense, entered the season with a target on their backs. Despite facing adversity early in the season, including a string of injuries and a surprising loss, they rallied to become a dominant force. Their defense was the cornerstone of their success, allowing an average of only 14.7 points per game.
Anchored by the senior linebacker Christopher Biller and the junior defensive end Caleb Barnes, the Spartans were a wall against opposing offenses. Biller averaged 5.7 tackles per game and was the heart and soul of the defense, while Barnes’s exceptional pass-rushing ability disrupted opposing quarterbacks throughout the season.
Offensively, De La Salle relied on a balanced attack, utilizing both their passing and running games effectively. Senior quarterback Tommy Faavae averaged 116.7 total yards per game, showcasing his versatility and ability to manage the game. The running back duo of senior David Blanche and junior Thomas Cunningham provided a reliable rushing attack, averaging 78.3 and 67.0 rushing yards per game respectively.
Mission Viejo, known for their potent offense and aerial attack, entered the season with a hunger for a state championship. Led by the dynamic senior quarterback Lucas Fahey, the Diablos averaged an impressive 33.3 points per game. Fahey, a strong-armed and accurate passer, averaged 139.1 yards and 16 touchdowns through the air.
The receiving corps, spearheaded by the explosive senior wide receiver Liam Lilomaiava, who averaged 92.4 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns per game, was a constant threat to opposing defenses. Lilomaiava’s speed and route-running ability made him a favorite target for Fahey, making the Diablos’ passing attack virtually unstoppable.
On the ground, Mission Viejo relied on the power and agility of junior running back Anthony Spafford, who averaged 75.8 rushing yards and 8.4 touchdowns per game. Spafford’s ability to break tackles and gain yards after contact kept the De La Salle defense on their toes.
Both De La Salle and Mission Viejo navigated through their respective schedules with impressive performances. The Spartans’ stingy defense proved too much for most opponents, while the Diablos’ explosive offense kept them in contention throughout the season.
The climax of the season came in the CIF Division 1-AA state championship game, a highly anticipated matchup between two legendary programs. The game lived up to its billing, exceeding expectations and showcasing two teams playing at the peak of their abilities.
From the opening kickoff, both teams displayed relentless intensity. De La Salle relied on their stifling defense, with Biller and Barnes disrupting the Diablos’ passing attack. Mission Viejo countered with their high-powered offense, with Fahey finding Lilomaiava and Spafford in stride for multiple touchdowns.
The game remained a nail-biter until the final seconds, captivating the crowd and leaving everyone on the edge of their seats. Ultimately, it was De La Salle who emerged victorious, claiming a hard-fought 24-21 win.
The 2023 season marked a significant chapter in the rivalry between De La Salle and Mission Viejo. Both teams demonstrated exceptional talent and a relentless pursuit of excellence. The championship game served as a testament to the caliber of football played in California high schools.
As we look ahead to the 2023 season, the De La Salle Spartans and the Mission Viejo Diablos are poised to continue pushing each other to new heights. Both teams have talented players returning and are eager to build upon their successes. The rivalry between these two programs promises to be even more intense and captivating in the years to come.