In arguably the biggest week of local prep football in some time, Amador Valley and Foothill high schools pulled off big wins, keeping alive East Bay Athletic League championship hopes.
The Dons used a late defensive stand to upend California 17-14, with the Falcons running out to a 21-0 lead before coasting to a 35-27 win over Monte Vista.
Amador moved to 2-1 in EBAL play and 5-2 overall. The Dons play at San Ramon Valley Friday night, then host Livermore the following week before facing Foothill in the regular season finale.
Foothill is 4-0 in the EBAL and 8-0 overall. The Falcons play at California Friday night, then have a bye before hosting the Dons on November 6. If both teams continuing winning, the finale could have the added luster of being for the EBAL title.
In their win over Cal, Amador got touchdown runs from Ronnie Jones and Patrick Loughnane to jump out to a 17-0 halftime lead. Cal rallied and was on the verge of taking the lead and the game, but the Amador defense brought down Cal quarterback Jack Gerlach just short of the end zone on the final play.
For Foothill it was business as usual as the potent offense got big plays from a number of the Falcons' weapons.
Isaiah Floyd had three touchdown runs and threw a touchdown pass as well on an option play to lead the way. Ruben Mercado made a highlight reel grab of the Floyd pass for the score and Matt Gates hauled in a Ben Wooldridge pass for the other Foothill touchdown.
The Foothill girls went 2-0 during the week of Oct. 12 beating Amador and Livermore.
The Falcons were led by senior middle blockers Olivia Larsen and Valerie Esomonu in the win over Amador. Larsen finished the match with 11 kills and six blocks with Esomonu racking up 10 kills and four blocks.
Kellie Hughes had an excellent match directing the offense with 39 assists and six service points.
Against Livermore, senior libero Taylor Campbell led the way 14 digs and 13 service points. Sophomore outside hitters Andreera Paduraru and Hana Okurhara had outstanding matches. Paduraru finished with nine kills and eight digs, while Okurhara added six kills and four blocks.
The win left the Falcons 16-6 overall and 6-2 in league play.
The Amador cross country teams had a busy week, running in a pair of meets for the first and only time this season.
First off was an EBAL Center meet last Wednesday, and then the Dons closed out the week with the Farmer Invitational on Saturday.
In the Center meet the girls' varsity team finished fourth paced by an excellent run from Melodie Leroudier who finished fourth. Kaitlin Cartwright was fifth, surpassing her personal best on the course by 31 seconds. Sadie Grozier, Isabelle Smedley and Bliss Bergmark rounded out the Dons' top five.
On the boys' side, the Dons got a big team effort to finish third, as the five scoring runners for the Dons finished just 23 seconds apart.
Alex Laurence was 15th and the top Amador finisher, but Sean Carrick, Thomas Gallagher, Jarod Moyers, and Drew Helmers came in close together.
At Hayward, Leroudier led the way, finishing 5th and bettering her PR on the course by 33 seconds. She was followed Cartwright, who knocked off 37 seconds off her previous best.
Smedley, Grozier and Karly Laffer rounded out the top five for Amador as the Dons finished second, one point behind Liberty.
On the boys' side Gallagher bounced back from his rough Wednesday to finish 12th. Laurence also backed up his performance on Wednesday by finishing 18th. Helmers, Carrick and Jovan Perez completed the scoring for the Dons, who also finished second.
Next up for the Dons is the EBAL Championships at Shadow Cliffs on Nov. 6, starting a 1 p.m.