With his legs taken out of the equation by the Alhambra High defense, Miramonte quarterback Ross Anderson carried the host Matadors to a Diablo Foothill Athletic League title with his arm.
Anderson threw for 245 yards and four touchdowns, and Miramonte broke it open late to defeat the Bulldogs 49-28 and win the DFAL title Thursday in the final game of the regular season.
Normally a dynamic running quarterback, Anderson found the going rough against Alhambra (7-3, 4-2 DFAL). That wasn't cause for panic though, as he hooked up with Jack Pietrykowski for an 8-yard touchdown pass and Anthony Piganelli for a 45-yard score to give Miramonte (9-1, 5-1) a 14-7 lead after a quarter.
"The great thing about him is that's part of his game that we don't necessarily have to use and utilize, but when we need it, he's able to do it," Miramonte coach John Wade said. "I think he really showed just how good he is."
Another touchdown pass to Piganelli, this time from 47 yards out, and a 1-yard touchdown run by Anderson put the Matadors up 28-14 at half.
Alhambra clawed back though, and a 1-yard touchdown run by Justin Green made the score 28-20 with 11:09 left. On the ensuing kickoff, it appeared the Bulldogs had recovered an onside kick, but it was ruled that the ball hit an Alhambra player before traveling 10 yards. That gave Miramonte the ball and the momentum.
"The play was made on the onside kick," Alhambra coach Alan Hern said. "We had gotten back to within a touchdown, and that was the play of the game. It just didn't go our way."
Alhambra also had to try its comeback without leading rusher Jared Leaf, who had to leave the game after three quarters with an injured right ankle. In just three quarters of work though, Leaf rushed for 167 yards.
Receiver Trevor Davis had a big game for Alhambra, catching nine passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. In the end though, it was too much Anderson and Miramonte.
"This means everything. Our line did great all day, our receivers did great, the defense played hard," Anderson said. "This is something you'll never have taken away from you."