The Las Lomas High football team used a big play defense to make up for three costly turnovers in its 45-23 win over Alhambra in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League opener for both teams.
Alhambra quarterback Josh Evans was 14-of-29 for 183 yards, completing passes to nine different receivers, but threw two second-quarter interceptions.
The Knights' Mingo Flatly and Zack Fulks hauled in the interceptions, which set up touchdown passes from Shawn Hessler to Greg Corbin and Fulks in the final 2:45 of the first half.
Las Lomas (3-2, 1-0) need to come back from a 15-10 deficit for a 24-15 halftime lead. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Knights and gives them some momentum heading into their Sept. 27 game at home against Acalanes.
Hessler threw for 186 yards and four scores against Alhambra, with Johnny Marinchak catching seven passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
Evans' third touchdown pass for Alhambra (1-3-1, 0-1), a 15-yarder to Grant Hill, pulled the Bulldogs to within 31-23 late in the third quarter. But in the fourth quarter, Corbin blocked an Alhambra field goal attempt, and three minutes later he returned an Alhambra fumble 40 yards for a score.
Las Lomas ran for 173 yards, led by Fulks with 96 yards on 16 carries, but the offensive numbers were skewed by two big turnovers. A 30-yard loss on a bad punt snap led to Alhambra's final touchdown -- a 15-yard pass from Evans to Hill -- and Hassler had a 16-yard loss while trying to recover a loose ball.
The Knights were helped repeatedly by having a short field. Alhambra attempted onside kicks on all five kickoffs, recovering two, and punted only twice. Three Las Lomas scoring drives were 55 yards or shorter.
Northgate 45, Antioch 8: Eric Haynes ran for the majority of his 174 yards in the first half and scored two touchdowns as the Broncos remained undefeated with a road win on Sept. 27.
The Broncos have a bye this week as they get ready to open Diablo Valley Athletic League play with a home game against Mt. Diablo on Oct. 11.
Haynes put Northgate (5-0) on the board with a 31-yard touchdown run with 4:48 left in the first quarter, capping an eight-play, 80-yard drive.
After a punt set up the Broncos on the Antioch 32, they scored quickly on a 15-yard touchdown strike from Kyle Austin to Jake Smith.
The pair later hooked up for a 60-yard touchdown early in the third to stretch Northgate's lead to 35-8.
Austin finished with 194 passing yards, 143 of those to Smith.
Antioch (1-4) had its chances in the first half when it forced two fumbles, one on a muffed punt and the other on a strip and 48-yard return by Eric Meza-Medina. Both times the Panthers had the ball inside Northgate's 25 yard line, but the drives sputtered after a missed field goal and a turnover on downs.
Northgate outgained Antioch 499 yards to 172. The Broncos had 305 rushing yards. The bulk of Antioch's yards came on an eight-play, 74 yard drive on its
first possession of the second half. All of the plays on the drive were on deception running plays, capped by a 6-yard run by Issac Lewis.
Lewis led Antioch with 53 yards rushing.
-- Paul Burgarino