The Livermore High football team had two chances at a game-winning score and an East Bay Athletic League upset.
Twice the Cowboys failed, both in the final minute, allowing California (6-1, 3-1 EBAL) to escape with a 28-27 road win Friday.
The Cowboys (3-4, 0-4), who trailed by two touchdowns at the half, were an extra point from tying the game after a 17-yard scoring run by running back Damariay Drew. But with 54.7 seconds left, Livermore decided to go for the two-point conversion and the win.
However, the Cowboys' gimmick play -- a handoff to Drew, who then tried a Tim Tebow-esque jump pass -- fell incomplete.
Livermore got the ball back after an onside kick. With no timeouts on third-and-4 at the Grizzlies' 45, Livermore tried to run a draw. Cal sniffed it out and stopped Cowboys running back Ryan Texeira for a 5-yard loss. Quarterback Zach McPherson, hurrying to beat the clock, threw an incomplete pass on fourth down with 15 seconds left.
"It hurts knowing we could've beat them," said Texeira, who had 104 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns. "The only thing stopping us was us."
Conversely, the Grizzlies were relieved to escape with a victory. They dominated much of the first half to build a 21-7 lead at the break. That was largely because of the play of quarterback Kevin Farley, who threw for 134 yards and two touchdowns -- including a 10-yard pass to Armani Washington that put the Grizzlies up for good.
Livermore got going early in the second half. A roughing-the-kicker penalty by Cal on a Livermore punt seemed to spark the Cowboys offense. They got the ball back and marched 58 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 1-yard run by McPherson.
The Cowboys defense forced a turnover on downs on the next series. The offense capitalized by pounding it on the ground. Texeira scored from 5 yards out, tying the game at 21 midway through the third quarter.
Amador Valley 12, Granada 9: Mitch Worsey knocked the ball loose from Jake Kearney, and Grant Miller fell on it for the Dons to save the victory. The fumble came at the goal line with 59 seconds remaining in the game.
Visiting Amador Valley (4-3, 2-2 EBAL) was holding on for dear life. The Matadors (2-5, 0-4) had taken possession at their own 5-yard line with 8:55 to go and marched 94 yards in 18 plays before the turnover.
"We just knew it was going to be a run," Miller said of the decisive play. "He went in and I was getting ready to get a tackle and all of a sudden I see that ball pop just pop out, and I just knew that I had to pick it up to win the game."
Kearney had a tremendous game, rushing for 116 yards on 24 carries.
Kyle Moreno completed 9 of 15 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown and an interception for the Dons. He connected on a 48-yard pass to Gerald Seals for the score and on a 69-yarder to Worsey to set up another touchdown.
Chris Figueiredo kicked three field goals to account for the Granada scoring.
-- Damin Esper, correspondent