CONCORD -- Behind dynamic quarterback Nsimba Webster, the Deer Valley High football team scored more points against the De La Salle defense than anyone this season.
But it was only a moral victory for the Wolverines.
De La Salle contained Deer Valley's playmakers for the most part and rode a punishing ground attack to a 57-27 victory in the North Coast Section Division I semifinals Friday.
With Antoine Custer and John Velasco combining for 331 rushing yards and five touchdowns against the Wolverines (11-2), the Spartans (12-0) earned a chance to compete for their 22nd consecutive section title. They will face the winner of a Saturday semifinal between No. 2 Pittsburg and No. 3 California in the Dec. 7 championship game at Dublin High.
For a quarter, Webster and the No. 4 Wolverines hung tough with a De La Salle team coming off two consecutive shutouts.
Webster raced for an 80-yard touchdown on Deer Valley's first play from scrimmage and later connected with Trey Ellis for a 5-yard score and a 14-7 lead.
But Velasco tied the game two plays later, and the Spartans defensive line held Webster in check in the second quarter. A 14-14 tie quickly turned into a 43-14 De La Salle lead at halftime.
"They got some points running around, wheeling and dealing, but we kept them under control for most of the game and that's how we won," said lineman Sumner Houston, who played a part in De La Salle's seven sacks on Webster.
With 128 yards on the ground and 70 through the air, Webster finishes the season with 3,535 total yards and 50 touchdowns. He accounted for all four of Deer Valley's scores against the Spartans.
Custer rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns on just two carries to lead De La Salle, which totaled 431 yards of offense. He also added a 55-yard punt return worthy of a highlight reel.
"We challenged him because he kind of disappeared for a couple weeks," De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh said of the sophomore. "We got after him a little bit, and I don't think he liked that very much because he responded well. That punt return was special."
Deer Valley got as close as 43-21 in the third quarter after an 18-play scoring drive, then recovered a De La Salle fumble in its own territory. But Larry Ross and Boss Tagaloa sacked Webster on fourth down, and the Spartans scored on their ensuing possession to sew up the win.