WALNUT CREEK -- Jake Smith took a slant pass from quarterback Kyle Austin and outran the Mustangs defense on a 75-yard-touchdown pass with 10 seconds to play, lifting the host Broncos (2-0) to a victory over the Mustangs (1-1) and capping a wild final two minutes.
Smith's touchdown came on Northgate's first offensive play after San Marin quarterback Manny Wilkins threw his fifth touchdown pass of the game, to Vince Sbragia on a 19-yard strike with 31 seconds to go. Sbragia appeared to fumble the ball as he neared the goal line, but the ball bounced back to him, and he fell on it for the score that appeared to lift San Marin to an improbable win.
Northgate running back Eric Haynes ran 39 yards for his fourth rushing touchdown with 2:01 to play. Haynes had rushed five times for 42 yards on the Broncos' previous drive, the final 3 for a touchdown that gave Northgate a 31-28 lead with 4:15 remaining. His next score came on the first play after the Broncos held San Marin on a fourth-and-3.
But Northgate's 10-point lead began to evaporate immediately. Wilkins found Isaak Leon all alone behind the Broncos' defense for a 75-yard touchdown pass on San Marin's first offensive play after Haynes' touchdown. Vince Cerutti then recovered Jeff Walchli's onside camp, and Wilkins guided a three-play, 55-yard drive that ended with Sbragia's score.
Northgate 45, San Marin 42
San Marin 7 7 14 14-- 42
Northgate 14 0 7 24-- 45
N -- Lee 30 pass from Austin (Dale kick)
SM -- Sbragia 16 pass from Wilkins (Walchli kick)
N -- Haynes 14 run (Dale kick)
SM -- Sbragia 11 pass from Wilkins (Walchi kick)
N -- Haynes 7 run (Dale kick)
SM -- Shepardson 5 pass from Wilkins (Walchi kick)
SM -- Chernoff 5 run (Walchi kick)
N -- Dale 30 FG
N -- Haynes 3 run (Dale kick)
N -- Haynes 39 run (Dale kick)
SM -- Leon 75 pass from Wilkins (Walchi kick)
SM -- Sbragia 19 pass from Wilkins (Walchi kick)
N -- Smith 75 pass from Austin (Dale kick)
Rushing: SM -- Chernoff 17-83, Wilkins 12-34, Parham 3-7. Totals 32-124. N -- Haynes 22-133, Austin 3-22, Vorhees 1-5, Smith 1-0, Huang 2-(-1). Totals 29-159. Passing: SM -- Wilkins 21-29-2-293. N -- Austin 19-29-1-265. Receiving: SM -- Sbragia 7-84, Shepardson 5-65, Cerutti 4-42, Parham 3-21, Leon 2-81. N -- Smith 8-130, Huang 3-48, Mastrelli 3-28, Vorhees 2-20, Haynes 2-9, Lee 1-30. Fumbles/lost: San Marin 3/1, Northgate 1/1. Records: Northgate 2-0, San Marin 1-1.