SAN JOSE -- Jay MacIntyre's season began three months ago with a frightening concussion and a trip to a hospital. Saturday, it ended with a dazzling passing display, great defense and a Central Coast Section Division III championship.
MacIntyre, son of San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre, threw three touchdown passes in the first half and returned a fumble for a score and had an interception in the second half to lead Valley Christian to a 51-20 victory over Aptos at Independence High.
Valley Christian scored five touchdowns before halftime and then held off an opponent that brought a 10-game winning streak into the title game.
"Definitely the end of the year was better than the beginning of the year," MacIntyre said as the team hoisted the championship trophy.
Though seeded third, Valley Christian excelled as many expected in Division III because it was so close to having a much different season. Had the Warriors (7-6) not lost four West Catholic Athletic Leagues games by a combined 14 points, they would have qualified for the Open Division.
But Valley Christian made the most of its Division III opportunity, rolling through the competition for its first section title in seven years.
"We wanted to come out and get a CCS championship," said MacIntyre, a junior. "Even if it wasn't the Open, the way our season's been, it's really rewarding to get the D-III championship. It's going to be a good offseason."
The Warriors needed only three plays to score on their opening series as Kirk Johnson sprinted 69 yards for a touchdown. The sophomore added a 74-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter to ensure that Valley Christian would reach 50 points in all three of its playoff victories.
Johnson finished with 180 yards in seven carries.
"He's going to be a good one," Valley Christian coach Mike Machado said.
MacIntyre, meanwhile, threw touchdown passes of 14, 34 and 17 yards, but his best completion might have been one that did not result in a touchdown.
On first down from the Aptos 23, MacIntyre held his ground and took a vicious hit as he completed a 12-yard pass to Ryan Severson on the sideline.
"I rolled out and saw the guy, but I knew I had to make the play," MacIntyre said. "So I stepped in and he hit me there pretty hard. Severson made a nice catch."
Three plays later, MacIntyre rolled out again and threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Novak. MacIntyre was 6 for 6 for 113 yards and three touchdowns before halftime. He threw only two passes after halftime, completing one.
As a safety on defense, MacIntyre returned a fumble 45 yards for a score and intercepted a pass at the goal line to end an Aptos threat.
"Jay played both sides today," Machado said. "He was great on offense. He made plays for us on the defensive side of the ball -- so obviously he was key for us. He's a playmaker, a coach's son. He's got instincts."
Saturday, he got something else -- a CCS championship.
For more on high school sports, see Darren Sabedra's After School blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/highschools.