The Monte Vista High football program might be best known for its offense. But on Friday night it was the Mustangs defense that shined, limiting Berkeley to 161 yards of offense in a 21-0 nonleague victory.
"There was no question in our minds that we wanted to step it up defensively this week," Mustangs coach Craig Bergman said. "Our defense came out ready to play, and it showed."
That's not to say Monte Vista didn't have some of its usual offensive firepower, as well.
After a scoreless first quarter, Nikita Zamora hit Jalen Avery on a 20-yard touchdown strike to go up 7-0, then later in the quarter, Zamora found Mason Melin over the middle for a 52-yard connection and a 14-0 lead.
The Mustangs got the ball back with just over two minutes left in the first half and were going for another score, but Zamora was intercepted by Akil Bordelon.
The Yellowjackets proceeded to drive to Monte Vista's 1-yard line, but the Mustangs defense came up big, stopping Berkeley quarterback Lamont Smith about a half yard short of the end zone as time expired, preserving a 14-0 halftime lead.
"That goal-line stop was a huge pick-me-up for us," Bergman said.
The second half featured a healthy dose of Zack Chang, who led Monte Vista on the ground with 129 yards and scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter sealing the win.
"I wasn't happy with our red zone offense tonight, and we made way too many penalties, but we will
Zamora passed for 258 yards, completing 14 of 26 attempts in the process with 117 of those yards going to Melin.
John Adams led Berkeley with 79 yards rushing.
Bishop O'Dowd 33, McClymonds 26: Isaiah Johnson and Dominic Gomes did a lot of everything, as O'Dowd got off to a big lead then held on for a win over McClymonds.
Johnson scored two touchdowns, intercepted a pass and recorded a sack to spoil the Warriors' season opener. Gomes helped O'Dowd's cause by returning a fumble for a touchdown, intercepting two passes and snaring a two-point conversion pass.
O'Dowd scored on the game's opening possession when Johnson snagged a 7 yard pass. Dominic Miroglio passed to Gomes for an 8-0 lead.
McClymonds looked to make a game of it when Keith Williams scored on a 7-yard run near the end of the first quarter, cutting its deficit to 8-6. But the second quarter belonged to the Dragons, and a couple of bizarre plays set the tone.
The Warriors looked to have thwarted an O'Dowd threat with an interception, only to fumble the runback. Gomes scooped up the ball and ran 18 yard for the score and a 15-6 lead.
O'Dowd got the ball quickly back when kicker Eric Schwartz recovered the ensuing squibbed kickoff, setting up a 10-yard touchdown reception by Kevin King.
O'Dowd looked to be cruising when Schwartz's 34-yard field goal opened a 26-6 lead with 8:13 left in the third quarter.
Mack fought back, and O'Dowd was only able to seal the game when Johnson's 5-yard run opened a 33-20 lead with 1:03 to play.
Mack's Jalen Thompson completed the scoring with a 24-yard touchdown reception on the game's last play.
-- Mike McGreehan, correspondent
Granada 28, American 0: The Matadors defense collected six sacks while holding the Eagles to minus-33 yards on the ground in a shutout over American at Tak Fudenna Stadium.
Granada (2-0) pounded out 175 rushing yards, and quarterback Tyler Offill threw for 150 yards and a touchdown as the Matadors outgained American 325-98.
"The kids did a great job swarming the ball, and our offensive line did a great job up front," Granada coach Tim Silva said.
Granada's Derek Granados scored a pair of touchdowns and finished with 70 yards on 12 carries, including a 7-yard run to the end zone 2:53 into the game that gave the Matadors a 7-0 lead they would never relinquish. Kyle Campiotti added a touchdown run of 9 yards and Javon Williams caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from Offill to give Granada a 21-0 halftime lead.
American (1-1) reached Matadors territory six times, but two interceptions, a fumble and three turnover-on-downs doomed the Eagles.
Ryan Barker finished with 131 yards on 14-for-23 passing while Segun Giwa had five catches for 69 yards for the Eagles
-- Tony Gonsalez, correspondent
Piedmont 28, Moreau Catholic 25: William Meredith came up huge when it counted for Piedmont, which rallied from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Moreau Catholic in a nonleague game.
Meredith reeled in a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Spencer Kim midway through the final quarter to cut the Mariners' lead to 25-21. A few minutes later, Meredith struck again, taking a punt return 80 yards for a touchdown, giving the Highlanders (1-1) their first lead of the night.
Piedmont secured the victory when Chad Brane intercepted a tipped ball with roughly a minute remaining.
Kim finished 7-for-19 passing with 101 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Moreau Catholic (0-2) led for most of the game, thanks to the efforts of Jason Hinton, who scored on a kick return and a punt return. He also intercepted two passes.
Moreau Catholic quarterback Nicholas Kinast went 11 for 26 with 166 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
-- Justin Lafferty, correspondent
Livermore 40, Hayward 13: The Cowboys amassed 324 yards on the ground and had a pair of runners go over 100 yards as they ran away with a showdown on the road by scoring 28 points after halftime.
"Last week I thought we were stammering along, but tonight we did a better job," Livermore coach Greg Haubner said. "When they adjusted, we adjusted and we were able to get the run game going."
Louie Hernandez ran for 139 yards on and scored four touchdowns for the Cowboys (2-0), three of them on the ground as his 14-yard run started the scoring and his 44-yard score put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter at 33-7.
"He had a fantastic night," Haubner said of Hernandez. "He has a perfect skill set for what we do and it is exciting to see."
Not to be outdone, Tyler Rardon had 143 yards on the ground and put the icing on the cake with the game's final score, a 43-yard rumble.
Jehvin Odom was a bright spot for the Farmers (1-1) as he had three catches for 107 yards including a 39-yard touchdown reception.
-- Matt Smith, correspondent