SAN JOSE -- In his final regular-season home game, Oak Grove's Nick Bernardo was determined to leave the field Friday night with a league championship.

Turns out, he did even more.

On a night the offensive standouts shined, Bernardo sparkled brighter than any, running for 305 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries to lead Oak Grove to a 49-35 victory over Leland.

Oak Grove clinched the Blossom Valley Athletic League Mount Hamilton Division title -- and its automatic berth into the Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs.

Had Leland won, the Chargers would have claimed the spot.

But it wasn't to be for Leland as the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Bernardo unleashed a physically dominating performance.

"It's Senior Night, my last night," Bernardo said. "It means the most to me -- the tradition. My dad, all my uncles played here."

Bernardo tweaked an ankle late in the game, but his classmate, Chidobe Awuzie, scored on two long touchdown runs in the final minutes and then intercepted a pass to hold off Leland.

Awuzie rushed for 205 yards in 17 carries.

"No words can explain this. I love my team," Awuzie said. "I'll do anything for them, and they'll do anything for me."

Oak Grove (10-0, 7-0) needed its two star players because Leland kept charging. The Chargers rallied from two touchdowns behind twice in the first half to tie the score 21-21 at intermission and trailed by just six points with 1:48 left.


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Leland quarterback Matt McLaughlin threw for 229 yards and a touchdown. Kenny Portera caught five passes for 109 yards and rushed for 67 yards. The Chargers also got 126 yards rushing from Jack Pizzo.

"If you like offense, boy, you got your money's worth here," said Leland coach Mike Carrozzo, whose team has qualified for the playoffs and probably will land in Division II. "As we grow and mature, we remember stuff like this, and it only makes you stronger."

The Chargers (6-4, 5-2) will certainly remember Bernardo, who rushed for 222 yards in the first half and didn't slow down until he tweaked the ankle.

Carrozzo said he told Bernardo after the game, "You are one of the better football players I have seen in my 16 years of coaching, and you are the heartbeat of that team -- unbelievably impressed with him."

Oak Grove seemed on its way to a rout after its first two offensive series.

Bernardo capped an impressive opening possession with a 31-yard scoring run in which he ran over a defender on his way to the end zone. He was just getting warmed up.

After a three-and-out for Leland, Oak Grove needed only one play to cross the goal line, and again it was Bernardo who scored. As he did throughout the game, he fought off defenders to break clear and then raced into the end zone to complete a 45-yard scoring run.

The Eagles led 14-0 just 5:05 into the game, and Bernardo had already reached the 100-yard rushing mark.

But Leland withstood the early jolt with an effective running attack and big passes from McLaughlin.

After Bernardo's second TD, Leland went 80 yards in two plays to cut the Oak Grove lead to 14-7. McLaughlin threw a 47-yard pass to Matt Mohs, and Portera dashed 33 yards on the next play for the score.

Oak Grove answered with another scoring drive. Bernardo had the big play -- a 19-yard run on third-and-19 from the Leland 29 -- and Dallas Misaalefua finished the series three plays later with a 1-yard run that extended the Eagles' lead to 21-7.

But Leland tied the score by halftime -- on McLaughlin's 51-yard pass to Portera and Pizzo's 9-yard run.

"We gave them a good run," Portera said. "We did the best we could. We played our hearts out."

For more on high school sports, see Darren Sabedra's After School blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/highschools. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/DarrenSabedra.