SAN RAMON -- Karris Johnson scored four touchdowns and the California High defense got a key stop on fourth down with 1 minute, 19 seconds left to beat visiting Pittsburg 40-34 on Friday night.
The Grizzlies (2-0) led by as much as 27-10 in the first half before the Pirates rallied for 17 straight points and tied the score with 54 seconds left in the third quarter.
But Cal's offense found its groove again on its next possession. Austin Terry capped an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge to put Cal ahead for good, and a gutsy onside kick call on the ensuing kickoff paid off.
The Grizzlies recovered the onside kick, and Johnson gave Cal some much-needed insurance five plays later when he scored on a 14-yard run. That put Cal up 40-27 with 5:30 left when the extra point failed.
Pittsburg (1-1) responded by putting together a scoring drive of its own as Lorenzo Renteria found Xavier Crawford in the end zone for a 21-yard score with 2:46 left. The Pirates recovered an onside kick but couldn't get a first down, and Cal ran out the clock from there.
Early on, Cal's offense was rolling. The Grizzlies took their first lead just four plays into the game on a 27-yard run by Johnson, who finished with 123 yards on 14 carries.
Cal quarterback Cameron Owen connected on 10 of 13 attempts for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
Renteria rushed for three touchdowns and passed for another one to lead Pittsburg. He finished with 177 passing
Pittsburg kicker Antonia Saldana connected on two field goals in the first half, including a 44-yarder as time expired.
Pittsburg's Jamal Lockett rushed for 105 yards before leaving the game with an injury in the third quarter.
Next week, Cal travels to Castro Valley for its final nonleague game of the season before opening East Bay Athletic League action against Amador Valley on Sept. 21. The Grizzlies haven't lost a nonleague game since 2009.
Pittsburg, meanwhile, will play a school from the East Bay Athletic League for a second week in a row, hosting Monte Vista at 7-p.m.