Sobrato and Valley Christian put on an offensive show in the second half Saturday night at Live Oak High. But the Warriors also scored early and often in the first half and hung on to defeat Sobrato 52-42.
Valley Christian (6-6) faces Aptos (10-2) next Saturday for the Central Coast Section Division III title at 3:30 p.m. at Independence High.
"We watched (Aptos) play last night," Valley Christian coach Mike Machado said. "They play good defense. We'll just do what we've done all season. Just need to clean up some things."
The Warriors got on the board on their first possession with a 10-yard run by Kirk Johnson, who also scored on runs of 65, 45, and 30 yards. Two big plays on the first drive were a 32-yard run by Ryan Severson and a 24-yard pass to Brandon Alexander from Jay MacIntyre.
MacIntyre was 3-of-3 passing for 103 yards, Johnson had 17 carries for 241 yards, and Severson had 20 carries for 183 yards.
"Severson closed in on 2,000 yards tonight for the season," Machado said. "And Johnson is a sophomore and is around 1,200 yards."
At the end of the first half, with Sobrato on the Warriors' 30-yard line MacIntyre picked off a pass from Michael Bocksnick in the end zone. Valley Christian led 25-14 at halftime.
After scoring on each possession of the second half, Valley Christian came up with another big stop
With 2:36 left in the game, Valley Christian's Bryce Novak picked off a Bocksnick pass intended for JoJo Nunn.
"We've had the top offense in the league all season," Machado said. "But, we have to be able to play both ends. We struggled with defense at times during the game. Both teams wanted their defense to step up and get the stop, and our guys managed to get it."
On the play, Sobrato's Nunn was knocked unconscious. Play was halted for about 20 minutes before he was carted off on a stretcher. The severity of the injury was not immediately known, but he flashed a "thumbs-up" sign as he was taken off the field.
With 2:16 left in the third quarter, Sobrato called on a special play for a 40-yard touchdown pass to Nick Hardy from his brother Isaiah Hardy.
"We call it the Hardy connection," said Nick Hardy. "We've been practicing it all week, and it worked out perfectly."
The score pulled Sobrato within three points, 31-28.
Valley Christian's next possession lasted 2 minutes, 27 seconds and six plays, finishing with a 65-yard touchdown run by Johnson.
Sobrato again pulled within three points two plays later on an 80-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Hardy from Bocksnick. Isaiah Hardy finished with four catches for 170 yards.