A Shurod Thompson interception return for a touchdown ignited a 19-point run, and the Pittsburg High football team overtook host California 19-7 Friday night in the teams' season openers.

In the marquee matchup between Bay Area powers, the Pirates avenged a 31-17 loss to the Grizzlies in the 2013 North Coast Section Division I semifinals.

"It was phenomenal," Thompson said of Friday's effort. "We all came together as a team and we worked our butts off, and it showed on the field."

The Pirates' smothering defense, especially a top-flight secondary, took the game over after the Grizzlies got off to a strong start.

Pittsburg High running back Jaylyn Morgan (3) right, makes a first down before being tackled by California High defensive back Alec Dohmann (9) in the
Pittsburg High running back Jaylyn Morgan (3) right, makes a first down before being tackled by California High defensive back Alec Dohmann (9) in the second quarter of their football game in San Ramon, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group) ( Doug Duran )

Pittsburg's athletic secondary picked off Jacob Wooldridge four times and Harland Tautalatasi recovered a fumble in the end zone to up the lead to 12 points in the third quarter, effectively sealing California's fate.

The Grizzlies, after having an apparent touchdown completion called back because of a holding penalty in the first quarter, broke through in the second quarter on a 17-yard hook-up from Wooldridge to Justin Locklear. Spencer Thompson-Meyers' extra point made it 7-0 with 6:57 remaining.

California appeared to be wearing Pittsburg's strong defense down with the power run game, but the Pirates seized an opportunity. Thompson intercepted a Wooldridge pass over the middle and returned it 30 yards with 41.5 seconds left in the half. Eduardo Aguirre's extra point tied the game 7-7.


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"He had his eyes on the receiver the whole time, and I made the play," Thompson said of his game-breaking play after noting that it was his man who caught the Grizzlies' touchdown pass.

Pittsburg defensive back Jordan Parker, who had two interceptions, said the Pirates were tired before Thompson's pick.

"We had to pick it up," Parker said. "Shurod Thompson's a very good player. He made a play. We needed momentum going into the half."

Pittsburg surged ahead on a 17-yard run by speedy Nick Moore with 4:44 left in the third quarter. Wooldridge was sacked and he fumbled in the end zone on California's next possession, and Tautalatasi recovered.

The Grizzlies had one last gasp after recovering a fumble at the Pirates' 40-yard line with 5:58 left in the fourth quarter, but were held on downs.

San Ramon Valley 44, Las Lomas 17: The Wolves scored 17 points in the second quarter to help rout the visiting Knights in a nonleague game.

After Mitchell Allan booted a 28-yard field goal in the first quarter, San Ramon Valley quarterback Zack Baker found a wide-open Carter Nichols, who used his speed to elude Las Lomas defenders and dove into the end zone for a 44-yard score to give San Ramon Valley a 10-3 lead in the second quarter.

Following another Allan field goal, the Wolves marched down the field thanks to sophomore running back Quadeer Atlas, who rushed for 64 yards on six carries in the second quarter. The drive finished with Baker finding Christian Fuca on a fade route in the end zone, giving SRV a 20-3 halftime lead.

SRV's defense forced five Las Lomas turnovers, including three interceptions by Knights quarterback Ben Wood.

-- Erik Stordahl, correspondent

Campolindo 56, Heritage 31: Jack Stephens threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns as Campolindo raced past host Heritage.

The Cougars' quick- strike offense took flight, as all three Stephens touchdown passes came on the first play of an offensive possession. After Heritage tied the game at seven in the first period, Stephens found Caleb Whalen open for a 74-yard scoring pass, starting a string of 35 consecutive points for Campolindo.

The final touchdown of the first half, a 47-yard, one-handed grab by tight end Tyler Petite, came with 24 seconds left after Campolindo had taken over after a short punt.

Whalen led all receivers with four catches for 124 yards, while the Cougars' Nick Fadelli led all rushers with 12 carries for 98 yards. Tre Edwards led Heritage with eight catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns, while Leeandre White had 11 carries for 62 yards.

-- Nate Smith, correspondent

Alhambra 55, College Park 7: The Bulldogs scored 48 unanswered points in the first half as they rolled past the rival Falcons in a nonleague game at Diablo Valley College.

Alhambra quarterback Josh Evans completed 10 of 12 passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. He also ran for a 17-yard touchdown for his team's first score.

Also in the first half, Bulldogs running back James Gonsalves had eight carries for 123 yards and one touchdown on a 65-yard run.

College Park's lone touchdown came early in the first quarter as Amir Madison recovered an Alhambra fumble on the opening kickoff at Alhambra's 37-yard line. Shortly after, Falcons quarterback Waris Azizi scored on a keeper from 3 yards out for the opening points of the game.

-- Nick Norvell, correspondent

Antioch 30, Acalanes 28: Sophomore sensation Najee Harris ran for 279 yards and four touchdowns, allowing the Panthers to withstand the remarkable efforts of Acalanes quarterback Casey Harrington.

Harrington passed for 366 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more scores. He gave the Dons a 14-0 first-half lead with a 1-yard TD run and an 18-yard scoring pass to Tyler Henderson. Harris put Antioch on the board with a 5-yard TD with 3:41 left in the second quarter, then scored from 24 yards out after the Panthers recovered an Acalanes fumble on the kickoff. He also scored on runs of 1 and 9 yards in the second half.

Trailing 30-22, Harrington got the Dons within two points when he hit Ryan Leamy between two Antioch defenders for a 29-yard touchdown with 2:24 left in the game. But the conversion attempt failed, and Antioch was able to run out the clock.

Harrington completed 26 of 36 passes, hitting eight receivers. Leamy was his favorite target, catching nine balls for 126 yards.

-- Steve Dulas, correspondent