MORAGA -- Brett Stephens wiped the blood from his lower lip and tried to explain the chaos that had just resulted in a 40-39 win for his Campolindo High football team against visiting Acalanes.
"We didn't have any timeouts left, so we had to do the quickest thing we could," Stephens said. "I just yelled quarterback sneak and got it in."
Stephens plunge as time expired gave the Cougars the win in a wild, intense and evenly matched Diablo Foothill Athletic League opener Friday.
But the game was far more than one play. Acalanes (4-1) took the lead with 3:50 to play when Peter Mitchell broke free for a 25-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed, though, giving Campolindo (4-1) the opening it needed.
Stephens and the Cougars responded. They marched 88 yards, using all 3 minutes and 43 seconds they were afforded.
On third and goal from the 4, Stephens tried to score on a keeper but came up a yard short. He hustled his team to the line and, as the clock wound to zero, submarined under his offensive linemen and into the end zone.
Acalanes had very little to hang its head about, having proved it was every bit Campolindo's equal. Running back DeShawn Johnson carried 29 times for 237 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. The Dons also were an astounding 6 for 6 when attempting to convert on fourth down.
Stephens finished 17 of 25 for 312 yards through the air. Justin Dunn was his primary target, catching five passes for 91 yards.
"What I'm really proud of is our kids stepped up and played and never gave up," Acalanes coach Mike Ivankovich said. "There we were, their best player, five seconds left, against our defense stacked up in goal line and he barely gets in. We made so many plays tonight."
Dublin 29, Miramonte 21: Dublin's Ondre Rudolph rushed the ball 52 times for 341 yards and three touchdowns to secure a victory against Miramonte.
"It was a good night," Rudolph said. "I never got tired. It's a mental thing when you're that busy. You just have to think about continuing to pound it and not worry about your stamina."
While Rudolph's carries set the tempo -- he ran the ball on 52 of the Gaels' 67 plays from scrimmage -- the senior tailback failed to find the end zone until late in the third quarter when his 1-yard touchdown run gave Dublin a 14-7 advantage, its first lead of the game.
Dublin quarterback Tristan Elias' 44-yard bootleg keeper set up Rudolph's second score on the Gaels' next possession. The standout tailback's final score came on a 61-yard rush on his final carry of the night late in the fourth quarter to build a 22-point lead.
"I knew that rush was going to come," Rudolph said. "I was waiting for it to happen, but I just needed to keep running it the way I'm told to and the breakaway was going to happen."
Miramonte had the passing attack to stage a comeback but not enough time as Matadors quarterback Nick Sheehan threw for two touchdowns in the game's final two minutes to tighten up the final score. Sheehan finished with 198 yards on 21-of-35 passing.
The contest was the first DFAL game for either team. Dublin improved to 3-2 overall while handing Miramonte (2-3) is first road loss of the year.
-- Travis Summers, correspondent
Las Lomas 49, Alhambra 24: The Knights excelled in every facet of their DFAL opener against visiting Alhambra, cruising to an easy win.
Kyle Hill and Zach Fulks each had two touchdowns for Las Lomas (2-3) and quarterback Adam Wood completed 12 of 18 passes for 194 yards and three scores and had one touchdown rushing. Robby Ow had five receptions on the evening for 88 yards, and he also had two interceptions on defense.
Alhambra (1-4) was down 14-3 early but showed fight in the second quarter when running back Taylor Poyadue scored two touchdowns in a 1:56 span to give the Bulldogs a very brief 21-17 lead. But it was all Knights from there.
Las Lomas tightened up its defense and outscored Alhambra 21-7 in the second half.
Poyadue ended up with 152 yards on just 13 carries for the Bulldogs.
-- Nick Bender, correspondent