Spartans suffer first home loss in 87 games

California high school powerhouse De La Salle suffered its second straight loss, 30-12 Saturday in its own stadium, after a national-record 151-game winning streak.

The Spartans -- who had won 149 straight against in-state foes and 86 straight at home, according to the San Francisco Chronicle -- fell to Clovis West.

De La Salle's remaining streak isn't yet a record, but it's the only one that's intact and it's close to becoming one. The Spartans have scored in 298 straight games, five shy of the record set by John Curtis Charter (Woodbridge, La.), the Bay Area newspaper reported.

De La Salle's winning streak ended the previous Saturday with a 39-20 loss to Bellevue (Wash.) in front of 24,987 people at Qwest Field in Seattle.

The Spartans -- from Concord, Calif., a suburban community east of San Francisco -- had not lost since falling in the North Coast Section championship game Dec. 7, 1991, when the current seniors on the team were in kindergarten.

De La Salle broke the nation's previous longest winning streak
at 72 games in 1997, going on to more than double it.

On Friday, Charlotte (N.C.) Independence extended the reigning active winning streak to 64 with a 48-0 rout of rival Matthews Butler.

"We don't talk about the streak," Independence coach Bill
Geiler said Thursday. "I'm excited for our kids. I'm excited for
our school, but it's not going to help us win a game.

"Our goal every season is to win the state championship. So if
I have to sacrifice a loss to do it, I'll take it."

The Patriots climbed to No. 1 in one national poll after De La Salle's loss
and are ranked No. 2 by USA Today.

As for De La Salle, coach Bob Ladouceur has a 287-16-1 record
in 26 years at the school.

The football program at the private, all-boys school has inspired two books, a documentary and national telecasts of games. Last month, Sports Illustrated printed a seven-page spread about the team.

The team has regularly played the top competition from
California and around the country, drawing tens of thousands of
fans to see whether the streak would end.

De La Salle graduated 17 starters from last season's 13-0 squad, which was one of the best in the school's history.

De La Salle suffered off-the-field heartache Aug. 12. Linebacker Terrence Kelly was shot to death in Richmond, a crime-ridden city 20 miles east of De La Salle's campus, just two days before he was to leave for the University of Oregon, where he had a full football scholarship.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.