SAN RAMON -- For the second time this year, the California High football team dispatched Foothill by a wide margin.
The first time was a 29-point drubbing, and Friday night it was a 36-6 win over the visiting Falcons in the quarterfinals of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs.
Much like the first time the two played, California's defense proved to be the dominating factor. In the first game, the Grizzlies didn't allow an offensive touchdown.
That was duplicated Friday as the Grizzlies (9-2) held Foothill (6-6) to just 94 yards in the first half.
With the win, No. 2 seed California advances to the semifinals where it will host the winner of Saturday's James Logan-Freedom game in Union City.
California is two years removed from advancing to the finals where it suffered a 49-14 loss to De La Salle to cap a 10-2 season. In four years under coach Eric Billeci, Cal has made the playoffs four times.
California, which had a first-round bye, has won four of its last five games. The lone loss in that stretch was a respectable 27-14 defeat to De La Salle.
"We definitely feel like we're peaking at the right time," Billeci said.
The Grizzlies offense set the tone against Foothill with 21 first-half points. They pounded the ball on the ground, paced by C.J. Cornwell, Austin Terry and Karris Johnson.
Johnson and Terry combined for 116 first-half rushing yards on 10 carries each. Cornwell had a 23-yard touchdown run, and Johnson added a 25-yard touchdown run in the first half.
The Grizzlies combined for 299 yards rushing from 10 rushers.
"We've been effective with it all year, it's what we train to do," Billeci said of the run game.
Cornwell also had a 15-yard touchdown reception from Cameron Owen with the game's first score with 9:04 left in the first quarter.
Cal came out of the half, forced a three-and-out and when it got the ball back, orchestrated a seven-play, 52-yard drive that culminated in a 31-yard touchdown run by Blake Bierwith for a 27-0 lead with 7:21 left in the third.
It was the first of two third-quarter touchdowns for the Grizzlies.
"I thought we were sloppy in the first half and we did some soul searching at halftime," Billeci said.