San Ramon Valley & Pleasanton Foothill Tie 21-21

At least one statistician at Friday's key East Bay matchup between unbeaten Foothill of Pleasanton and unbeaten San Ramon Valley of Danville had the two quarterbacks -- Foothill's Brett Andrade and San Ramon's Sam Keller -- with identical passing yardage totals. But stats can be misleading...

If you were in Danville watching the game, that would be hard to believe as Keller, a 6-4, 210-pound junior with Div. I college scholarship written all over him, completed a high percentage of his throws while Andrade, a 6-4, 180-pound senior, struggled with numerous incompletions and a pair of interceptions.

But the game itself was a little hard to believe, too. Foothill trailed 21-0 midway through the second quarter, but came back to tie the Wolves 21-21, a result that could eventually help both teams qualify for the CIF North Coast Section playoffs.

Foothill entered the game ranked No. 3 in the Div. II state rankings and will likely drop a few spots in next week's compilations. San Ramon Valley entered at No. 10 and may have to stay there, although results of other teams around the state could push them into the bubble list.

Keller clicked early going to receiver Brody Stringer. They connected five times in the first half, including a 39-yard touchdown for San Ramon's second score with 8:28 left in the second quarter. Keller's other scoring pass of the night came in the first quarter on a 18-yard toss to Alex King.

"We came out a little lethargic," said Foothill coach Matt Sweeney. "They dominated us, but we hung around and kept making plays."

Using timeouts and with the knowledge they'd get the ball first to start the second half, the Falcons were able to move the ball from midfield during the last minute of the first half. Andrade fired completions of 10, 14, and 19 yards to sophomores Joey Nunn and Brad Bergeson to bring the ball down to the one-yard line. With eight seconds left, Andrade then floated a pass into the flat to fullback Matt Hoefs for a crucial touchdown.

Foothill did not get itself back into the game on its first possession of the second half. It actually took four possessions, but the defense shut down Keller and company so when Andrade went deep to Scott Cooper on the last play of the third quarter and when Cooper hauled in the pass then stumbled all the way down to the four-yard line for a 76-yard play, it was a brand new game. On fourth down following that play, Andrade scored on a one-yard sneak for a 21-14 game.

After the Wolves were only able to pick up one first down on their next series, Foothill went to work, only this time it was the running of Curtis Tuggle that did the trick. Tuggle came up with a great second effort to pick up a first down on a fourth-down play from the four-yard line and scored one play later.

With 3:11 still to play, Sweeney said it was an easy call to have Nunn go for the PAT. He delivered and the score was tied. Keller was sacked three times during San Ramon's last two possessions. Foothill's last series failed when Bergesen was stuffed on a fourth down play.

"There are no good ties," said Sweeney, even though his team mounted such a furious comeback. "We had a good effort, but we didn't put together a good plan."

San Ramon Valley's players, however, felt as if they'd let Foothill off the hook.

"I think we definitely feel worse than they do," said hard-hitting safety John Devany. "I'm not saying they're satisfied, but it's just a bitter taste right now. We just now have to bring it even harder next week against Amador."

Unofficial statistics showed Keller with 16 completions in 25 throws for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Andrade put it up 35 times and had 14 completions, also for 206 yards.

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