Harris Ross and Jaylyn Morgan led a potent ground game for the visiting Pittsburg High football team, which muscled its way to a 28-13 Bay Valley Athletic League win at Liberty on Friday night.
Ross ran for 173 yards and two scores and Morgan added 113 yards and two more scores, and Pittsburg (5-2, 2-0 BVAL) let its defense do the rest. The Pirates held the Lions offense to under 200 yards prior to the final drive of the game.
Morgan provided the only score of the first half, as his 3-yard run near the end of the first quarter gave Pittsburg a 7-0 lead heading into the break.
Ross added to the lead on the first play of the second half with his 49-yard touchdown run following an onside kick attempt by the Lions. Morgan finished another drive with an 11-yard run to give Pittsburg a 21-0 lead midway through the third quarter.
Tai Tai Canady put the Lions (4-3, 1-1) on the board with his 7-yard touchdown run late in the third, but Ross' 15-yard score put the game out of reach with under four minutes to go in the game. Ivan Oseguera added a 6-yard touchdown run on the final play for Liberty.
Liberty had a chance to take an early lead after Alex Hull ran a fumble to the Pirates' 8-yard line after the first possession of the game, but Pittsburg's Noah Palega came up with an interception on the ensuing play from scrimmage.
Freedom 28, Heritage 21: For the second straight year, the Falcons (3-4, 1-1 BVAL) stopped the Patriots (0-7, 0-2) on the final play of the game to clinch a victory.
In 2012, Heritage had the ball at the Freedom 1-yard line, and Freedom's Joe Mixon intercepted a pass in the end zone as time expired to seal a 31-24 victory.
Heritage scored two touchdowns in a 2-minute, 27-second span, including a 34-yard touchdown from Nathan Rollins to Sam Hinn with 5:09 remaining in regulation to tie this year's game at 21-21.
Freedom quarterback Joe Sweeney went 10 for 10 for 138 yards in the second half and finished with 228 yards and two TD passes, but it was Mixon who got another shot at being the hero at the goal line.
This time the highly recruited running back needed 1 yard of offense. Mixon scored on a 1-yard touchdown dive with 28.7 seconds remaining to seemingly secure a comfortable win.
"We needed to score, and we have one of the best running backs in the nation, so we pounded it in," said wide receiver Nick Garcia, who had six catches for 141 yards.
Garcia admitted the team thought it secured the win, but Rollins, who was 10 for 10 in the second half for 149 yards and 18 of 19 for 196 overall, wasn't ready to go down without a fight.
The Patriots quarterback connected on three straight passes and was aided by a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty as the Patriots drove to the Freedom 16 with 1.8 seconds remaining and a shot at victory.
Patrick Choudja sacked Rollins for the third time in the game as time ran out, sending the rest of the Falcons racing onto the field in celebration of the victory.
-- Ken Silman, correspondent
Deer Valley 49, Antioch 7: Kyle McDonald had 194 yards rushing and three touchdowns --- all in the first half -- as the Wolverines sprinted to a league win over the host Panthers (1-6, 0-2 BVAL).
McDonald helped set up the first score for Deer Valley (7-0, 2-0 BVAL) with a 51-yard run that moved the ball to the Antioch 9-yard line. Quarterback Nismba Webster ran it into the end zone in two plays later, his first of two rushing scores.
Later in the first quarter McDonald scored touchdowns on runs from 4 and 56 yards in consecutive drives, as the Wolverines jumped out to a 21-0 lead by the quarter's end.
McDonald's third touchdown came with under two minutes left in the half on a 72-yard burst through up the middle, as Deer Valley took a 35-0 lead into halftime.
-- Paul Burgarino