MORAGA -- It's only mid-September, but El Cerrito High running back Marshon Ardoin said the Gauchos felt like they won a championship Friday night.
Ardoin scored two second-half touchdowns as the Gauchos topped host Campolindo 16-14, snapping the Cougars' 13-game regular-season win streak.
Campolindo (3-1) won a close game over the Gauchos last season and used it to spark a run to the California Interscholastic Federation Division III bowl game.
So, it was a big deal for the Gauchos (4-0), who clinched the win by stopping Mason Windatt 3 yards short of a first down with 22 seconds left and the ball on the Gauchos' 40.
"This game means a lot, we took this as our championship game," Ardoin said. "We've never beat Campo since I've been here."
Ardoin's 9-yard touchdown run on the second play of the fourth quarter tied the game at 14-14. Ardoin then leaped into the end zone on the 2-point conversion to give the Gauchos the lead for good.
Kicker Cookie Antezana had a chance to put the Cougars ahead with under seven minutes to play, but his 38-yard field goal attempt sailed left.
Campolindo took a 7-0 lead into halftime after picking off El Cerrito quarterback Keilan Benjamin four times in the first half. Windatt's second interception set up the Cougars' first score, and the senior receiver also was responsible for the ensuing touchdown, a 5-yard reception from Brett Stephens.
El Cerrito caught a break to start the second half when Campolindo fumbled the kickoff and the Gauchos' David Haynes recovered. Ardoin scored on a 19-yard run on the next play, and the Gauchos took the lead with a successful 2-point conversion.
Nicky Aikawa's 4-yard touchdown run briefly gave the Cougars the lead back in the third quarter.