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December 1, 2013
Cal earns NCS title spot
After losing the regular season meeting, California got the decisive win by beating Pittsburg 31-17 to advance to the North Coast Section Division I finals and a rematch with No. 1 De La Salle.
The Grizzlies traveled to Pittsburg High to take on the Pirates in Saturday night's NCS semifinal matchup. Cal got off to a fast start taking a 14-0 lead off of a one yard touchdown run from CJ Cornwell and a 28 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Lorenz to tight end Matt Snyder. The Grizzlies would not look back as they did not lose the lead.
Pittsburg would have probably walked away with a win and a trip to the finals, if it wasn't for the injury to Harris Ross. Just before the half, Ross was tackled out of bounce on a long run and was down for some time. The star running back that is committed to Oregon State had hurt his leg yet again, the same injury that had sidelined him for over three weeks. Ross had led the Pirates back into the game with 128 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries as they only trailed 14-10 at half.
Cal quarterback Matt Lorenz stepped up huge for the Grizzlies as he has had to fill the place of injured starter Cameron Owen. Lorenz led his team to victory, going 9-for-12 for 134 yards and two touchdowns with a rushing touchdown.
The Grizzlies played the field position game, using time management to their advantage as they held the Pirates to just seven points in the second half. Pittsburg was not the same team after losing Ross. As it was only a seven point game, Pittsburg quarterback Armani Levias threw an interception to give the Grizzlies possession in Pirates territory. After the interception, Cal was able to score and control the game from that point on.
With the loss, Pittsburg finishes its season at an impressive record of 10-3, something to be very proud of. Now if you are Cal, you are now playing for something much bigger. The Grizzlies will travel to play De La Salle at Dublin High School next Saturday for the NCS title. The first meeting was taken by the Spartans by a score of 55-0.