Foothill High defeated Novato 17-14 Saturday in a season opener at Novato that also saw the Falcon's strong Freshman team wallop Novato 36-6.
In the varsity game, the Novato Hornets took the lead late in the first quarter. Then less than three minutes later, Foothill scored its first touchdown on a 15-yard hookup between quarterback Sean Mannion and Patrick Berrigan late in the first quarter.
The Falcon's senior kicker James Langford provided the game-winning kick with 11 minutes to go in the fourth.
For the Foothill High freshman, the team opened the season with a 36-6 thumping at Novato, moving the ball at will up and down the field.
Griffith Gates, Cale Rubinson, Clayton Carter and Cody Shields gave the Falcons a four-pronged rushing attack, hammering out numerous long drives against the Hornets. Gates, Shields and Rubinson all had one touchdown, with Gates and Rubinson adding two-point conversion runs.
Quarterback Parker Bryan hooked up a number of times with tight end Raymond Hudson, including a pretty 38-yard touchdown strike, which answered Novato's lone touchdown of the game.
The other Foothill touchdown came on a heads up play from receiver Michael Barbier, when he scooped up a Foothill fumble down field, then went the remaining 25 yards for a touchdown.
The offensive line of Hunter Schaefer, Denn Hanley, Mihir Naik, Nick Paulson and Grant Sojka repeatedly opened holes for the backs, as well as gave Bryan plenty of time to throw.
With the offense hitting on everything, the defense kept the flow as well, behind big plays from Gates and Marc Luey at linebacker. Carter and Zack Wilhite each added interceptions for Foothill.
The defensive line led by players like Tyler Trinidad was constantly in the Novato backfield, causing problems throughout the game.
So thorough was the defensive effort, Novato's only touchdown came following a blocked punt which the Hornets recovered at the Foothill 5.