PINOLE -- Senior running back Howard Wikle led all rushers with 164 yards to lead the Valley Christian High football team on Friday night against host Pinole Valley in a Tri-County Athletic League-Rock Division game.
But it was Wikle's two-point conversion run with 5:10 left in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference.
Wikle's conversion run capped a wild rally by Valley Christian, which came back from a 21-point deficit to shock the Spartans 22-21.
The Vikings (7-2, 3-2 TCAL-Rock) converted two turnovers into touchdowns in the second half -- a 50-yard interception return for a TD by linebacker Josh Quadara and a 5-yard fumble recovery by linebacker Demaurier Blackwell in the closing minutes to pull off the thrilling victory.
Pinole Valley (3-6, 2-3) scored touchdowns in each of the first three quarters to take a convincing 21-point lead moments into the third quarter. Quadara's interception return of a Devin Davis pass turned the momentum for the Vikings.
Wikle, a 5-foot-6, 170-pound senior, scored on a 12-yard run with 5:29 left in the game and Blackwell's fumble recovery on Pinole Valley's next possession cut the lead to 21-20. The Spartans were whistled for a penalty on the PAT attempt and the Vikings decided to go for the game-winner.
Wikle bolted up the middle for the conversion and danced into the end zone with his teammates.
Davis got Pinole Valley on the board with a 34-yard TD strike to Isiah Lewis with 6:23 left in the first quarter. Davis added two short TD runs to put Pinole Valley up 21-0 in the early going of the second half.
Sophomore Javari Shepherd paced the Spartans with 122 yards on 14 tries. Fullback Josh Powell added 100 yards on nine carries.
TCAL-Rock Valley Christian 22, Pinole Valley 21
VC 0 0 7 15-- 22
PV 7 7 7 0-- 21
PV -- Lewis 34 pass from Davis (Bui kick)
PV -- Davis 1 run (Bui kick)
PV -- Davis 2 run (Bui kick)
VC -- Quadara 50 interception return (Marco kick)
VC -- Wikle 12 run (Marco kick)
VC -- Blackwell 5 fumble recovery (Wikle run)
Rushing: VC -- Wikle 24-164, Volpatti 14-70, Harris 6-14. Totals 44-253. PV -- Shepherd 14-122, Powell 9-100, Lewis 7-84, Dickson 7-17, Davis 9(-13). Totals 46-310. Passing: VC -- Volpatti 1-10-1-27. PV -- Davis 1-3-1-34. Receiving: VC -- Carter 1-27. PV -- Lewis 1-34. Fumbles/lost: Valley Christian 4/1; Pinole Valley 3/2. Records: Valley Christian 7-2, 3-2 TCAL; Pinole Valley 3-6, 2-3.