WALNUT CREEK -- To a man, the members of the Las Lomas High School football team would admit that their season has not lived up to expectations.
But so far, the Knights are making the most of second chances.
Las Lomas picked a good time to put together perhaps its most complete game of the season on Friday night, methodically grinding down visiting Washington-Fremont for a 31-14 victory in the first round of the North Coast Section Division II playoffs.
The No. 7-seeded Knights (5-6) advance to take on No. 2 seed Rancho Cotate (10-0) next Friday.
"We're starting to play like we've been capable of all year," said Las Lomas coach Doug Longero, who was presented as the 2012 NCS Honor Coach at halftime. "We've got a lot of football left in us."
If what the Knights have left in the tank is anything like what they put on display against No. 10 Washington (6-5), the rest of the Division II field might want to re-examine the game tape.
Las Lomas had only two possessions in the first half. The first lasted nine plays, spanned 95 yards, and took 4:10 off the clock.
The second lasted 12 plays, spanned 66 yards, and took 4:47. Each ended in a Las Lomas touchdown, and the Knights led the Huskies 14-7 heading to the break, despite attempting and completing just two passes.
Washington's first drive stalled on the Knights' 5-yard line, and Las Lomas went 95 yards after forcing a turnover on downs, capping the drive with quarterback Adam Wood's 4-yard scoring run.
The next Huskies possession ended in a punt, and Las Lomas again marched efficiently down the field, scoring on wideout Robby Ow's fly-sweep.
Running back Kyle Hill was the workhorse for the Knights, amassing 104 yards on 24 carries, including a crucial 4-yard fourth-quarter scoring plunge to put Las Lomas up 28-14 after the Huskies seemed to have stolen the momentum.
"We all had the will to win," Hill said. "We haven't had the season we wanted. But this is a new season. Everybody starts 0-0. We get a second chance. We've got to take advantage of it."