The California Grizzlies pulled off a thrilling win over San Ramon Valley by a score of 21-17. Both teams entered the game with 5-2 records and being San Ramon’s homecoming, Cal had its sights on being spoilers for the night.
The game was a defensive battle through the first half with four out of the first five offensive series ending in punts. The first drive of the game Cal was denied on a goal line stand on the one yard line. SRV got on the board first in the second quarter with a field goal and the Grizzlies responded on the next drive with a 19 yard touchdown pass from Matt McCreary to Jahmal Cornwell. The TD was set up by a 53 yard pass to Gary Wendschlag.
San Ramon relied primarily on the run game through most of the contest and pulled ahead late in the third quarter to make the game 7-10. The game really got intense in the fourth quarter. The next drive the confidence of the Grizzlies soared on a critical third down conversion when QB Matt McCreary lowered his shoulder and leveled a SRV linebacker to get the first down. Several plays later Cal scored a touchdown run by Belal Alatasi.
Now down 14-10 SRV finally connected in the passing game with two long passes to their tight end and capped off their drive with a touchdown run with 1:18 to play in the game taking over the lead 14-17.
With the pressure mounting, the Grizzlies had sheer determination as they methodically marched down the field on key plays on the drive including a nice pass to Cornwell, another key pass to Fitzpatrick and a late hit against SRV by hitting Jarvis out of bounds. Then with 30 seconds left McCreary threw a perfect pass over two SRV defenders and Jahmal Cornwell made the perfect catch in the back corner of the end zone. Bush connected on his third PAT of the game. SRV still had one more chance but on the very next play after the kick off, David Hsia intercepted a tipped pass which sealed the Cal victory. The Cal bench erupted and the celebration was on.
Cal improved its record to 6-2 and solidified itself as an upper tier team for the NCS playoffs. Next week is homecoming game for the Grizzlies against the visiting Dublin Gaels.