WALNUT CREEK -- Fisi Tavake ran away from the Las Lomas High defenders in the first half. In the second half, he ran them over.
The end result was the same, Tavake handing the ball to the official in the end zone after a Northgate touchdown.
Tavake's combination of speed and power helped the Broncos (3-1) to a convincing 29-19 win over the host Knights (1-3) in the Battle of the Creek.
"He's a tough back," Northgate coach Justin Lowell said. "He can do it all. He's explosive -- you saw it on that cut-back in the first half. And he's powerful. He's just one of those special guys."
Tavake's 67-yard scoring scamper in the first quarter gave the Broncos the first of just four first-downs in the first half. The second came via penalty. The third came on Eric Haynes' 72-yard touchdown sprint. Haynes finished with 110 yards on 10 carries for the Broncos, who amassed 316 of their 356 offensive yards on the ground.
And though the staunch Northgate defense held Las Lomas to just 3 first-half points, the game was still very much in doubt in the fourth quarter.
Knights running back Kyle Hill bulled his way into the end zone on the first play of the fourth to make the score 14-11 Northgate.
Then the Broncos went back to basics. Running power left and right with Tavake, Northgate went on its only sustained drive of the game. The Broncos marched 80 yards on 16 plays -- seven of them rushes by Tavake -- and whittled an astounding
"We knew we just needed the ball in our hands to grind some clock," Tavake said. "We just pounded the ball to see if they could stop us. They couldn't."
Brayton Milner had 11 catches for 121 yards and a score in a losing effort for the Knights.
Northgate 29, Las Lomas 19
Northgate 6 8 0 15-- 29
Las Lomas 3 0 0 16-- 19
LL -- Howard 38 FG
N -- Tavake 67 run (kick failed)
N -- Haynes 72 run (Cremin pass from Pelletier)
LL -- Hill 5 run (Ow pass from A. Wood)
N -- Tavake 6 run (Sharpe run)
N -- Haynes 11 run (Pelletier kick)
LL -- Milner 3 pass from A. Wood (A. Wood run)
Rushing: N -- Tavake 16-130, Haynes 10-110, Sharpe 7-33, Pelletier 7-32, Voorhees 5-10, Lee 1-1. Totals: 46-316. LL -- A. Wood 6-50, Hill 5-23, McGoff 5-10, Gravitt 1-7, Ow 2-3, Bromstad 2-2, Fulks 1-(-3), Miller 1-(-8), Nevis 1-(-25). Totals: 24-59. Passing: N -- Pelletier 2-6-0 40. LL -- A. Wood 9-15-0 121, Miller 7-16-0 69, Fulks 1-1-0 35. Totals 17-32-0 225. Receiving: N -- Lee 1-36, Smith 1-4. LL -- Milner 11-121, Ow 6-104. Fumbles/lost: Northgate 2/2. Las Lomas 2/1. Records: Northgate 3-1, Las Lomas 1-3.