After combining to score 35 points in the first half, the Campolindo and Miramonte high football teams appeared headed for a back-and-forth offensive duel.
But the Cougars tightened up their defense in the second half, shutting out the Matadors, and their offense kept rolling to pull out a 35-14 road victory Friday night in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League.
"We really had to play our safeties up," said Campolindo coach Kevin Macy. "Then they adjusted and we brought our linebackers in. It was really our linebackers that cut off the middle of the field and underneath stuff."
Playing in front of lively fans from both schools, the Cougars took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Brett Stephens to Andrew Zolintakis and an 8-yard scoring toss to Phillip Rei.
The Matadors (2-3, 0-2 DFAL) came right back and scored on a 4-yard run from Marshall Deutz. Down 21-7 toward the end of the first half, Miramonte scored on a 68-yard pass play from Nick Sheehan to Zati Williams, appearing to steal away the game's momentum from Campolindo.
But Stephens keyed a game-changing third quarter by rushing for a 78-yard touchdown. Then after collecting a Sheehan fumble, marched his squad down the field for a 1-yard touchdown run by Nicky Aikawa for a 27-14 lead.
The Cougars (4-1, 2-0) defense controlled the game from there, limiting Sheehan to only 17 yards on one completion in the second half. Meanwhile, the Cougars found a running game, as Aikawa rushed for 117 yards; the team accounted for 258 yards on the ground.
The Cougars have won five of their past seven regular season meetings with their rivals, including the past two.
Campolindo is off next week but resumes DFAL play Oct. 12 at home against Las Lomas. Miramonte plays at Acalanes next week.
Campolindo 35, Miramonte 14
Campolindo 14 7 14 0-- 35
Miramonte 0 14 0 0-- 14
C -- Zolintakis 48 pass from Stephens (Antezana kick)
C -- Phillip 8 pass from Stephens (Antezana kick)
M -- Deutz 4 run (Howells kick)
C -- Windatt 64 pass from Stephens (Antezana kick)
M -- Williams 68 pass from Sheehan (Howells kick)
C -- Stephens 78 run (kick failed)
C -- Aikawa 1 run (Windatt pass from Stephens)
Rushing: M -- Bruen 10-31, Sheehan 9-15, Marshall 5-25, Deutz 3-11, Howells 1-(-1). Totals: 28-81. C -- Aikawa 24-117, Stephens 6-90, Lehman 6-14, Santaguida 5-24, Windatt 2-13. Totals 43-258. Passing: M -- Sheehan 13-35-2 176, Deutz 0-1-0 0. Totals 13-35-2 176. C -- Stephens 9-17-0 208. Receiving: M -- Fuller 4-34, Williams 3-82, Paoletti 2-29, Deutz 2-21, Gee 1-12, Bruen 1-(-2). Totals: 13-176. C -- Windatt 3-95, Phillip 2-25, Zolintakis 1-48, Petite 1-18, Davis 1-17, Singh 1-5. Totals 9-208. Fumbles/lost: Campolindo 1/1, Miramonte 2/1. Records: Campolindo 5-1, 2-0 DFAL, Miramonte 2-4, 0-2.