In a game featuring the region's two premier running backs, Oregon State-bound Harris Ross powered Pittsburg High past Freedom and five-star recruit Joe Mixon 34-13 on Friday night in Bay Valley Athletic League play.

Ross etched his name in the history books at Pittsburg (6-2, 3-0 BVAL), one of the East Bay's most storied football programs, during his 265-yard, three-touchdown night.

The senior broke Ken Simonton's career rushing mark of 2,460 yards on his first touchdown run, a 42-yard burst up the middle on the Pirates' first drive of the game. Simonton, now an assistant at Pittsburg, shook Ross' hand after his record-breaking run.

Ross then broke Derrick Blanche's single-season rushing record of 1,654 yards when he shed would-be tacklers on another long touchdown run up the middle to start the second half. He was congratulated after the game by Blanche.

With his three touchdowns, Ross also broke the Pirates' single-season record (22) and tied the career mark (30). Earlier in the season, Ross rushed for a North Coast Section record 464 yards in a win over Monte Vista.

Ross has 1,820 rushing yards on the season with two regular-season games still to play.

"I knew I had to come out here and do it for my team," Ross said. "If it wasn't for my linemen, again, I wouldn't have been able to do anything. I thank my line, and our defense stepped up tremendously."


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It was an emotional night for Ross beyond his record-breaking performance. He wore a pink eye black under his left eye to honor his cousin, Andrew Walker, who was killed in Antioch a couple of weeks ago.

"I did this game for him," Ross said.

Pittsburg's defense, meanwhile, was able to successfully key on Mixon, holding him to 74 rushing yards and one touchdown on 23 carries.

The game was close for a half. Freedom (3-5, 1-2) cut Pittsburg's lead to 7-6 early in the second quarter on Nick Garcia's acrobatic 13-yard touchdown reception, but the Pirates quickly increased their lead.

With Freedom coach Kevin Hartwig imploring his team to watch for the naked bootleg, Pittsburg quarterback Armani Levias ran the play to perfection. He faked the handoff to Ross, then raced 54 yards for a touchdown.

Deer Valley 28, Liberty 6: Host Deer Valley raced out to a 20-0 halftime lead against Liberty (4-4, 1-2 BVAL) en route to a league victory.

The Wolverines (8-0, 3-0) rolled up 230 yards of offense in the first half, led by 143 combined first-half rushing yards from Nsimba Webster and Kyle McDonald. Webster and McDonald finished the game with 102 and 98 rushing yards, respectively.

Deer Valley scored on its first offensive possession, when Robert Taylor recovered Nzuzi Webster's fumble in the end zone at the end of a 16-yard run. Nsimba Webster had 45 yards on the ground in the opening drive.

The Wolverines added to their lead early in the second quarter, after a Malik Hutchings interception. A 33-yard completion from Nsimba Webster to Taylor moved the ball to the Lions 1, where McDonald punched it in for the 14-0 lead. A 10-yard scoring run by Nsimba Webster with just over two minutes remaining in the half provided the 20-point halftime margin.

-- Nate Smith, correspondent

Heritage 49, Antioch 28: Heritage scored 28 points in the third quarter to turn a close game into a blowout over Antioch (1-7, 0-3 BVAL).

The Patriots forced three turnovers in the third quarter, including a 25-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Addison Hughes, as Panthers quarterback Issac Lewis lost the ball while being sacked.

Leeandre White scored two rushing touchdowns for Heritage (1-7, 1-2), including an 8-yard burst after an Antioch interception to start the third.

Antioch punted on the next drive, and Heritage drove 61 yards on six plays, capped by an 21-yard touchdown reception by Marcus Zangai.

After Hughes' TD, Cole Calagari intercepted Lewis at the Panthers 25.

-- Paul Burgarino