The California Fightin’ Grizzlies advanced to the semi-finals of the division 1 NCS playoffs Saturday night with a win over visiting San Leandro Pirates by a score of 17-7.
After 29 days off since Cal’s last regular season game due to earning a first round bye and two more weeks of postponing the game related to the dangerous air quality from the recent fires, both teams entered the game noticeable rusty on offense throughout the first half. Cal had two touchdowns called back on penalties in the first half and only managed a field goal by kicker Tyler Bush to lead at half by a score of 3-0. The defense held San Leandro on their three first half possessions with Juju Irribarren getting an early interception and the other two drives Cal forced the Pirates to punt.
The second half the offense got on track and scored touchdowns two of their three possessions both on short runs by running back Belal Alatasi. The Grizzlies chewed up the clock on each of their possessions on mostly run plays but peppered in pass plays on some key moments to keep the chains moving. The defense also came up big for most of the second half and only gave up one touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Next up for the Grizzlies is a rematch on Friday November 30th with the visiting Freedom Falcons for the semi finals of NCS playoffs. Cal beat the Falcons when they faced each other in August by a score of 42-27. The winner will take on the winner of San Ramon Valley vs Vintage played on Saturday December 1st.