CONCORD -- The host Clayton Valley Charter High football team turned a tense game into a blowout with 35 unanswered points in a 49-22 win over rival Concord on Friday night in the North Coast Section Division II semifinals.
Brothers Mike and Joe Protheroe combined for six rushing touchdowns, two apiece in the second half as the top-seeded Eagles (11-1) broke open a game that had been tied at 14 at halftime.
The spectacular Clayton Valley surge started with a brother's promise.
"We've been playing together for so long," Mike Protheroe said of Joe. "He told me before the game, 'I don't want this to be the last game playing with you.' I promised him we are going all the way."
The Eagles turned up the intensity in the second half, scoring on their first five possessions.
Mike Protheroe scored on keepers from 1 and 3 yards out as the Eagles took a 28-14 lead with 5:42 left in the third quarter. Joe Protheroe then scored the next two touchdowns for Clayton Valley. Joe Protheroe finished with three touchdowns and ran for 261 yards.
Clayton Valley, which has won 11 in a row, will play the winner of Saturday's other semifinal between No. 3 Northgate and second-seeded Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park in the Division II championship Friday at 7 p.m. at Diablo Valley College. The last time the Eagles made the NCS final was 2008, when they lost to Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa 17-7 in the Division II title game.
During an entertaining
Concord responded with an 80-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 5-yard pass from Mitch Daniels to Olito Thompson with 3:58 left in the quarter. Thompson wove through several would-be tacklers to get the Minutemen on the board, and a two-point conversion gave Concord an 8-7 lead.
Clayton Valley retook the lead at 14-8 on a 5-yard touchdown run by Joe Protheroe with 11:55 left in the first half.
Concord pulled even on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Daniels to a leaping Bryan Muonekwu with 6 minutes left in the half.
The Minutemen (10-3) had a four-game winning streak snapped.