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Falcons, Dons pull off big wins as EBAL showdown nears

Amador plays host to Livermore Friday; Foothill has a bye

For the second straight week, both the Falcons and the Dons pulled off big wins Friday night.

Foothill went to California and soured the Grizzlies Homecoming game with a 24-7 win.

Amador went into Danville and knocked off San Ramon Valley 21-17, once again relying on a defensive stand late in the contest.

The two wins mean all that stands between Foothill and Amador's Nov. 6 clash being for the EBAL title is an Amador win over Livermore Friday night.

In the Foothill win, Matt Gates, Ruben Mercado and Isaiah Floyd all scored touchdowns for the Falcons. Quarterback Ben Wooldridge had a pair of touchdown strikes to Gates and Mercado.

The win moved Foothill to 9-0 overall and 5-0 in EBAL play.

For Amador (6-2, 3-1), the defense stepped up much as it did the week before in a thriller with Cal. This time San Ramon got inside the Amador 10 in the final minute of play, but couldn't find the end zone on four consecutive plays.

On offense, Ledra McCullough ran for almost 200 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Ronnie Jones had another good game for the Dons, scoring a pair of touchdowns.

Foothill is off this week with a bye, while Amador plays host to Livermore on Senior Night.

Barring a stunning upset by Livermore -- an argument could be made that a Livermore win would be the biggest upset in EBAL history -- Amador and Foothill will be at Foothill on Nov. 6 with title ramifications.

A Foothill win would give the Falcons the EBAL title outright (they have clinched at least a co-championship), while an Amador win would make it a co-title or perhaps even a three-way tie with Monte Vista depending on how the Mustangs fare against California and San Ramon Valley the next two weeks.

The Amador-Foothill, "Battle for Pleasanton" always produces an overflow crowd and adding the lure of being able to hang a banner with a win will make this one or the ages.

Volleyball

The Foothill High girls' volleyball team capped in a big week by winning the Dougherty Valley tournament last Saturday.

In the championship match, Foothill beat Liberty in two straight to win the title. On the way to the finals, Foothill knocked off Shasta, Acalanes, Mission San Jose, Berkeley and St. Joseph's.

In the finals, setter Kellie Hughes had 27 assists and four service points to lead the way. Kate Goto had 12 kills and Hana Okuhara added eight. Andreea Paduraru, Taylor Campbell and Olivia Larsen also played well in the tournament.

In the week leading up to the tournament, the Falcons knocked Monte Vista from the unbeaten ranks in the East Bay Athletic League in a four-set thriller and dumped California in three straight.

In the win over MV, Paduraru paced the attack with 16 digs, 15 kills and 12 service points. Okuhara added 13 kills, 10 digs and 13 service points and Goto chipped in with 12 kills.

Against Cal, Hughes had 31 assists and 17 service points. Campbell had 20 digs and 12 service points, and finally Larsen added 11 kills and a pair of blocks.

Water Polo

In a thrilling cross-town rivalry Oct. 22, the Foothill boys beat Amador in overtime, 14 -- 13. The Falcons trailed at half time 7-4, but rallied in the second half to leave it 11-11 at the end of regulation time.

In overtime, Sophomore Matthew Dotson gave the Falcons their first lead with a backhand goal. Seniors Joe Schafer and Dominic Scalise added goals in overtime to help Foothill withstand Amador's final push.

Scalise led the offense with five goals, with Schafer and Dotson getting three each. On defense, Fabio Salvioni led the team with six steals, Aaron Li added four with Scalise and Dotson each getting three. Senior goalie Bryan Meyn capped off his final league game with six saves.

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