SAN RAMON -- The College Park High football team rode the Jackson Express to a come-from-behind 21-10 nonleague win over host Dougherty Valley on Friday night.
The Falcons (1-0-1), who also rallied for a 41-41 tie against Alhambra in their season opener, took a 14-10 lead on a 77-yard run on a pitch left by speedy Ray Jackson III. Then Timmy Jackson -- no relation -- ran 29 yards to clinch the victory on a fourth-and-1 play with 1:28 remaining. Jason Johnsonbaugh's third extra point of the night followed the score.
Ray Jackson III, a sophomore, also scored on an 18-yard run with nine seconds left in the first half to give the Falcons a 7-3 lead in the defensive battle.
"He's an explosive kid," College Park coach Bill Kepler said of Jackson III. "We just need him to be doing all of the stuff he needs to do. If he does that every night he's going to be really, really good."
Dougherty Valley (1-1) had a chance to deliver a knockout blow when Ajani Spicer Grose recovered a fumble at the Falcons' 8-yard line with 11:11 remaining. But the Wildcats fumbled it right back to College Park on the second play from scrimmage as Cory Caldwell recovered.
Dougherty Valley's chances took a blow when starting quarterback Umar Farooq suffered a shoulder sprain on a pitch play midway through the second quarter.
Dougherty Valley coach Nick Tisa thought his team's defense played well but it struggled in other areas.
"Mental mistakes are what killed us tonight, but I'm proud of our guys," he said. "It's a learning experience. I think we grew as a program."
Kepler praised his young team's effort. The Falcons are very athletic and deep in some positions, and the coaching staff is working to get everyone acclimated.
Both teams played inspired defense. Dougherty Valley broke the scoreless stalemate on a 21-yard Andrew Ferber field goal late in the second quarter. But Timmy Jackson returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards, and the Falcons marched 47 yards on five plays for the go-ahead touchdown by Ray Jackson III. On the play before the touchdown, quarterback Dimitri Salido darted 17 yards on an option left.
Setting up the Wildcats' field goal was Afolabi Adeoti, who turned his pads up field on a 24-yard burst to the College Park 8.
Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park 21, Alhambra 14: Josh Evans threw for 243 yards, but the Bulldogs couldn't complete a promising last-minute drive, falling on the road.
Alhambra (1-0-1) had a fourth-down pass batted down in the end zone as Rancho Cotate held on for the home win.
The score was tied at 14-14 at halftime.