Central Catholic players work out in preparation for nationally ranked De La Salle, under the watchful eye of head coach Roger Canepa (Joe Cortez/Front Row Preps)

How many starters will Central Catholic be missing against mighty De La Salle?

Joe Cortez

MODESTO — Central Catholic’s football team will be without two starters on Friday when the Raiders play host to national powerhouse De La Salle (Concord).

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at David Patton Field.

The Spartans, who own the national record for most consecutive victories (151),  a streak that started in 1992 and didn’t end until 2004, are coming off a 24-14 loss to Thomas Aquinas High School of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., ranked No. 1 in the country by USA Today.  De La Salle is ranked No. 20 in the same poll and third in Cal-Hi Sports statewide rankings.

However, two key members of the Central Catholic roster will be sidelined. Tony Cardenas, who plays fullback and linebacker, will miss his second consecutive game with a hamstring injury, while outside linebacker Phoenix Jackson will not start after being knocked out last week in the team’s 26-22 loss to Clovis West (Fresno). 

"It's just one of those things," said Raiders head coach Roger Canepa. "We've had some bad luck here."

Both De La Salle and Central Catholic play rugged preseason schedules.

The Spartans will take St. Francis (Mountain View), statewide No. 8 Folsom, statewide No. 12 Buchanan (Clovis) next week, followed by No. 24 St. Mary’s (Stockton). The Raiders will take on St. Mary’s next week, then travel to Southern California to take on No. 10 Upland.