Dougherty Valley High combined its relentless running game with an inspired defensive performance Friday night to hand visiting Las Lomas a 17-14 defeat and climb into a three-way tie for first place in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League standings.
The Wildcats (5-3, 3-1 DFAL) got a game-high 129 yards rushing from Eric Osuka, Lucas Raventos added 110 tough yards and Dougherty Valley's defense forced four turnovers to post the upset win over the Knights ((3-5, 2-2) and join Alhambra and idle Miramonte atop the DFAL.
"It's pretty nice," said Osuka, who had 1-yard touchdown runs in the second and third quarters. "The team works hard and all we wanted to do was punch it in and try to get to the playoffs."
After a scoreless first quarter, Dougherty Valley got it going early in the second by driving 68 yards on eight plays, seven of them rushes by Osuka. His runs of 35 and 11 yards set up his own 1-yard plunge for a 7-0 lead with 8:01 left in the half.
Las Lomas had two consecutive drives before halftime stopped by lost fumbles, then gave Dougherty Valley a gift touchdown early in the third quarter when another fumble resulted in an 8-yard loss and set the hosts up at the Knights 1. One play later, Osuka dove into the end zone to make it a 14-0 game with 10 minutes to go in the quarter.
The Knights drove on their next possession from their own 20 to the Dougherty Valley 20 on nine plays. On the 10th play, however, defensive back Landon Crawl stepped in front of receiver Robert Ow in the end zone to intercept quarterback Jackson Miller's pass.
Las Lomas, which hurt itself with nine penalties for 60 yards, wouldn't go quietly, though. Miller (15-for-31, 257 yards) nailed Ow for a 56-yard score with 7:34 to go in the fourth quarter to make it a 14-7 game. Dougherty Valley answered with an 11-play, 65-yard drive to the Las Lomas 10, with kicker Mitchell Ward booting a 26-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead with 4:15 to go.