California High football coach Eric Billeci said his team's defense finally grew up Friday night.
And that was bad news for host Foothill.
The unbeaten Grizzlies walloped the Falcons 36-7 in an East Bay Athletic League showdown pitting teams ranked in the top five in the Bay Area News Group East Bay poll.
"We hold them on a tight line, day in and day out, and it finally paid off tonight," Billeci said of his defense. "Hopefully we can build on this and there's more to come."
The No. 4-ranked Grizzlies (5-0, 2-0) dominated No. 5 Foothill in all aspects, limiting the Falcons (3-2, 1-1) to 49 yards rushing on 11 carries and 55 yards passing, intercepting sophomore quarterback Kyle Kearns twice in the first half.
Cal's Karris Johnson ran for 149 yards and three touchdowns, including setting the tone with a 57-yard scoring run on the Grizzlies' second play from scrimmage, after he ran for 16 yards on the first.
Cal's Nate Grixti also kicked a 40-yard field goal to make it 15-0.
The Grizzlies, who allowed 28.3 points a game in their previous three contests, wouldn't let the Falcons get anything going. Foothill had just 16 offensive plays in the first half and 27 overall.
"We were accountable. That's all it is. We were accountable," Billeci said. "We run the same defense that we've been running all year, and guys finally bought in."
California amassed 316 yards of rushing. The Grizzlies' Blake and Zac Guardino
Foothill, coming off a 21-14 home win over Monte Vista, avoided the shutout on a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Isaiah Langley with 10:22 to play.
Johnson praised his offensive line for getting a "big push" and making life easier for the runners. He also felt a little personal redemption.
"Last week (against Amador Valley) I didn't step it up enough, and so I felt I had to make it up to the whole team and my family and do my best for them," said Johnson, who has narrowed his college choices to two schools, Utah State and Hawaii.
San Ramon Valley 22, Amador Valley 15: The Wolves' 0-3 start to the season is a now a distant memory, as they moved to 2-0 in the EBAL after a road win over the Dons.
San Ramon Valley (2-3, 2-0 EBAL) piled up 488 yards of offense and overcame some mistakes against Amador Valley (2-3, 0-2).
"Defensively being able to settle down was big," San Ramon Valley coach Mark Kessler said. "We were worried about them getting on top of us and breaking the big play, but they just had the one early."
The Dons opened the scoring with a 60-yard scoring pass from Kyle Moreno to Grant Miller, but the Wolves scored less then two minutes later when Marcus De La Pena capped a five-play, 75-yard drive with an 11-yard TD run. De La Pena had 186 yards in the game, including a 50-yard run on that drive.
Big plays in the passing game wound up being the difference, but it was San Ramon Valley's Cameron Birse that made them as he hit J.J. Koski for two long scores.
The first, a 56-yard score, made it 15-7, but the second, a 68-yarder on the first play after the Dons turned the ball over on downs late in the third, wound up being the game-winner.
-- Matt Smith, correspondent
Monte Vista 48. Granada 21: Jalen Avery scored two touchdowns including on an 85-yard pass in the third quarter to help break the game open as the host Mustangs (4-1, 1-1 EBAL) beat the Matadors (3-3, 0-2).
"We have a fake post, and I make a double move and get to the outside," Avery said of the 85-yard TD. "All I do is get off the corner and make two good moves and the line blocked very well and Nikita Zamora gave me a beautiful ball. All I had to do is catch and run to the end zone."
Monte Vista couldn't shake a pesky Granada team in the first two quarters, leading only 20-14 at halftime. But Anders Turner intercepted Tyler Offill's pass on the second play of the third quarter and returned it 32 yards to the Matadors 13. Zamora eventually cashed in the touchdown on a 1-yard run.
On Monte Vista's next possession, a penalty set up a second-and-18 at the 15. Zamora ran the play-action and heaved the ball to a wide-open Avery at the 50. Avery outran the Granada secondary to make it 35-14.
The Mustangs defense held the Matadors to 184 total yards. Monte Vista also won the field position battle, forcing Granada to punt out of its end zone twice and taking advantage of the short field each time.
-- Damin Esper, correspondent