1977 Antioch High School Football Team- Click to enlarge photo
Third Row: Coach Gary San Martin, Coach Ron Morelli, Gordy Darling, Bert Reese, Bill Douville, Rich Lisa, Steven Shelton, Joe Gleason, Reuben Lana, Dan Carden, Scott Bergerhouse, Greg Taylor, Gary Noack, Rick Spohn, Mike Olenchalk, Kevin Bean, Brian Harris, Unknown, Head Coach Marvin Comstock, Coach Charlie Jones.
Back Row: Trainer, Darrell MacCarter, Joe Aiello, Kenneth Vosmers, George Del Monte, Jerry Jones, Pat Welch, Ferris Anthony, Frank Riebschalger, Gary Pico, Darryl Corzine, Rich Trabold, Tom Moore, Jim Manly, Rich Taylor, Ken Harvey, Unknown.
The 1977 Antioch High School football team had it all: speed, power, depth, a Hall of Fame coach and most of all, camaraderie.
“We truly played like a team,” nose guard Ferris Anthony said. “We didn’t even have names on our jerseys. We just played for the guy playing next to us.”
With a roster approaching 60, coach Marv Comstock — a 2009 Sports Legends Hall of Famer — had few, if any, go both ways.
The Panthers, reflecting Comstock’s hard-nosed personality, won 10 straight games before losing in the North Coast Section 3A finals 35-26 to favored Mission San Jose at DVC.
Buoyed in the middle by the 305-pound Anthony and led by active, hard-hitting linebackers Jerry Jones and Doug Jones, the defense allowed 107 points and included three consecutive shutouts heading into the title game.
“The Jones boys were crazy good,” Anthony said. “They attacked sideline to sideline. They were really, really good.”
The offense, run by QB Scott Bergerhouse, was led by fullback Bill Douville, tailback Tony Lang and flanker Mike Shaw. Douville wasn’t swift, but he was an absolute load and earned team MVP and All-Northern California honors.
“Think Marv Hubbard,” Anthony said. “He ran straight down hill.”
Lang (2011 SL-HOF member) and Shaw (2012 SL-HOF), a pair of juniors, were fast and athletic and attacked on the perimeter, leading to big wins over Berkeley (24-19), Pittsburg (36-22) and Mt. Diablo (30-6). They finished second in the final East Bay Poll behind champion Mission San Jose.
Lang reminds Anthony of current Antioch tailback Najee Harris, who is ranked the top junior back in the country by 247 Sports.com. He’s also the No. 6 recruit in the country overall for his class.
“Lang could run over you but he could really scoot to the outside,” Anthony said. “Those two guys (Lang and Shaw) were really lightning to (Douville’s) thunder.”
Six players earned Diablo Valley Athletic League first team honors from the 1977 Championship Team : Douville, Lang, Doug Jones special teams, center Pat Welch, tackle Rich Taylor and receiver Gary Pico.
Six more were second team selections: Shaw, Doug Jones linebacker, guard Mark Long, tight end Tom Moore, defensive lineman Jim Ryan and defensive back Kevin Bean.
Douville and Jerry Jones were first team All-East Bay selections, Lang, Taylor and Bean were second teamers and Welch and Pico were honorable mentions. With Bill Douville earning the sole All-Northern California honor.
All that top talented led to a North Coast Section 3A championship game against Mission San Jose at Diablo. MSJ jumped out to a big lead and then hung on for the victory.
“They were heavily favored,” Anthony said. “And they took it to us early. But we never stopped coming at them. We got inside a touchdown but they scored late to seal it.”
Afterward, the Panthers weren’t that dejected, Anthony said.
“We definitely gave it our all,” he said. “We could have quit when we got down big, but we kept fighting back. It was a great group. One I’ll always remember.”