SAN RAMON -- The California High football team continued its recent mastery of Foothill, using its smash-mouth style to earn a 24-7 victory Friday night.
Fans at Cal's homecoming night were treated to a spectacular halftime fireworks show, but the Grizzlies didn't need to be flashy on the field to take care of business against the Falcons.
Cal put together several long, time-consuming drives behind tailback Blake Bierwith, fullback Simi Hingano and a powerful offensive line to dominate time of possession.
"They have better skill players than we do, but we knew that if we stuck together, were accountable to each other and trusted each other we could beat them," Cal coach Eric Billeci said.
It was the first loss of the season for Foothill, which had rolled its first six opponents by a combined 255-42.
The Grizzlies again proved to be the Falcons' nemesis, though. Since taking over as Cal's head coach in 2009, Billeci has never lost to Foothill, a streak of six games.
Foothill (6-1, 2-1 EBAL) actually struck first on Friday, scoring on an 85-yard pass play from quarterback Kyle Kearns to Jamirr Holland on its opening possession.
But Cal's ground-and-pound game kept Foothill's dynamic offense off the field much of the first half. The Falcons ran just 16 plays while falling behind 17-7.
Cal (5-1, 3-0 EBAL) then opened the second half with a 14-play drive that chewed up more than 7 minutes, 30 seconds of clock. Hingano capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run, his second of the night.
With the win, Cal stayed at the top of the East Bay Athletic League standings.
"As a team, beating Foothill is always really fun," Bierwith said. "Every team we play in EBAL is really good, so every week we have to bring it. We did tonight."
Hingano finished with 106 yards, and Bierwith added 79 yards and a score. Cal rushed for 257 yards as a team, and quarterback Cameron Owen completed 8 of 10 passes for 102 yards.
The Grizzlies also recovered three Foothill fumbles. Blake Brown recovered one of them, and his interception as time expired preserved the second-half shutout.
Kearns completed 7 of 16 passes for 167 yards for Foothill.