After combining to score 35 points in the first half, the Campolindo and Miramonte high football teams appeared headed for a back-and-forth offensive dual.
But the Cougars tightened up their defense in the second half, shutting out the Matadors, and their offense kept rolling to pull out a 35-14 road victory Friday night.
"We really had to play our safeties up," said Campolindo coach Kevin Macy. "Then they adjusted and we brought our linebackers in. It was really our linebackers that cut off the middle of the field and underneath stuff."
Playing in front of lively fans from both schools, the Cougars took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Brett Stephens to Andrew Zolintakis and an 8-yard scoring toss to Phillip Rei.
The Matadors (2-3, 0-2 DFAL) came right back and scored on a 4-yard run from Marshall Deutz. Down 21-7 toward the end of the first half, Miramonte scored on a 68-yard pass play from Nick Sheehan to Zati Williams, appearing to steal away the game's momentum from Campolindo.
But Stephens keyed a game-changing third quarter by rushing for a 78-yard touchdown and then after collecting a Sheehan fumble, marched his squad down the field for a 1-yard touchdown run by Nicky Aikawa for a 27-14 lead.
The Cougars (4-1, 2-0 DFAL) defense controlled the game from there, limiting Sheehan to only 17 yards on one completion in the second half. Meanwhile, the Cougars found a running game, as Aikawa rushed for 117 yards; the team accounted for 258 yards on the ground.
The Cougars have won five of their past seven regular season meetings with their rivals, including the past two.
Campolindo is off next week but resumes DFAL play Oct. 12 at home against Las Lomas. Miramonte plays at Acalanes next week.
Acalanes 21, Las Lomas 17: With 42 seconds remaining, Dons quarterback Robbie Stern took the snap from center and then watched as the play fell apart.
So he took off. Stern broke free around the left end, got a bone-crushing downfield block from wideout Tyler Supple to seal his lane, and then tiptoed into the end zone to score an improbable game-winning touchdown with 31 seconds on the game clock.
Stern's 33-yard scamper capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive that took exactly two minutes and came on the heels of a 2-yard Kyle Hill touchdown that gave the Knights (2-4, 1-1) their first lead of the night at 17-14.
The drive was sustained by an unlikely call by the officials. On fourth-and-11 from the Acalanes 19, Stern winged a deep pass to Craig Anderson down the right side. Anderson grabbed it with two hands, got his feet down, then hit the ground hard on his back. The ball popped free and the side judge signaled incomplete. But the back judge ran in and reversed the call for a 30-yard completion.
-- Bill Kolb, correspondent
Dublin 45, Dougherty Valley 19: The Gaels (4-2, 2-0) ran out to an early lead and never looked back, defeating host Dougherty Valley.
Dougherty Valley (0-5) was unable to stop Dublin's running game, as the Gaels scored five rushing touchdowns.
Ondre Rudolph got the Gaels on the board with a 31-yard run on the opening drive. He added a 2- and 12-yard touchdown runs and finished the game with 188 yards.
Darrell Millinder added two more rushing touchdowns for Dublin, with a 62- and a 2-yard run, both coming in the second half. The Gaels also blocked a punt, and EJ Crosse ran it in for a touchdown.
Dublin head coach John Wade praised his running backs.
"They had great games. They're two of the best running backs, I think, in the league," he said. "It's hard to keep it away from them, they're both so good."
Dougherty Valley quarterback Umar Farooq put his team on the board with three touchdown passes in the second half. Aaron Do caught two of them, one for 42 yards and one for 73. Gurjeet Bhangu also had a 31-yard touchdown pass, but Dublin's lead was too large to overcome.
-- Jen Cosgriff, correspondent