The only people who saw this coming were wearing red and gold and sitting in the home locker room before the game. For everyone else -- especially the visiting Concord High football team -- this was shocking.
The Northgate defense managed what no one else had so far this year, holding bruising tailback Olito Thompson and the high-powered Minutemen offense in check, and notching a stunning 28-20 Diablo Valley Athletic League victory Friday.
The Broncos (5-1, 1-0 DVAL) bottled up Thompson all night, limiting him to just 62 yards on 20 carries, an average of just 3.1 yards per carry. His only score came on a successful 2-point conversion to put the Minutemen (5-1, 0-1) up 20-6 with a minute left in the first half. For perspective, Thompson entered the game with 894 yards on 121 carries, an average of more than 7 yards per carry, and nearly 180 per game.
It is the first Northgate win over Concord since a 47-35 victory in 2007.
Though the Broncos outgained the Minutemen 382-286 and outrushed them 277-53, it was the Northgate defense that carried the day.
"They brought it," Northgate coach Justin Lowell said. "We tried to put Olito in a box in the first half, and we did, but they hurt us with the pass. We made some adjustments at the half. The defense came to play."
Defensive linemen Max Moore, Sean Cremin and Joe Pelletier never gave Thompson a chance to get going, collapsing running lanes before they developed and making sure tackles.
With the Minutemen leading 6-0 in the second quarter, the Broncos turned in the first of what would be two decisive goal-line stands. They stuffed Thompson for a 2-yard loss on first-and-goal from the 3, and again on third-and-goal from the 1, and took over on downs.
In the third quarter, Northgate sacked Concord quarterback Wyatt Morrow for a 13-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the 3 to turn away another opportunity.
The Minutemen went three-and-out on four of their six second-half possessions as the Broncos managed to shut them out after the break.
Northgate's Drew Downing recovered an onside kick after a 25-yard scoring pass from Pelletier to Brandon Lee tightened the score to 20-13 Concord. Five plays later, Pelletier found Jake Smith for a 29-yard strike to give the Broncos their first lead with 7:10 to play.
Clayton Valley Charter 69, Ygnacio Valley 22: Eagles running back Joe Protheroe rushed for 267 yards on just six carries and scored three touchdowns as Clayton Valley (5-1, 1-0 Diablo Valley Athletic League) overwhelmed the host Warriors (1-5, 0-1).
Protheroe's touchdown runs went for 51-, 95- and 76 yards. His last carry occurred with 9:50 left in the third quarter.
"Basically, every carry I got, I got to the second level," said Protheroe, whose shortest carry was his first of 12 yards. "I'm blessed with a good line."
Joe Protheroe's brother, Michael, rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another. Teammate Curtis Grant added two touchdowns, including a 16-yard fumble return that gave the Eagles a two-touchdown lead with 7:52 left in the first quarter.
Ygnacio Valley cut the deficit to 14-6 later in the first quarter with a 5-yard run by Khalil Branch. But on the first play of the next series, Joe Protheroe broke several tackles for a 51-yard score, starting a 42-point streak for the Eagles.
-- Phil Jensen
College Park 35, Mt. Diablo 0: Dimiti Salido and Nick LeSage each ran for two touchdowns, and College Park's defense overwhelmed Mt. Diablo (2-4, 0-1) in the DVAL opener.
Salido set the tempo for College Park (3-2, 1-0 DVAL) when he took off for 42 yards on the first play of the game and finished with 109 yards on 11 carries. Matt DeSilva led College Park with 134 yards on 15 carries. College Park rushed for 383 yards.
The only thing to stop College Park was itself. The Falcons lost a fumble at the Red Devil 13-yard line on their first possession, then lost a fumble at the Mt. Diablo 1 in the second.
Salido scored on runs of 14 and 10 yards in the first half, as the Falcons built a 14-0 lead. He also threw a 34-yard touchdown to Jaelen Collins. LeSage scored on runs of 36 and 14 yards in the second half.
-- Steve Dulas, correspondent