Pinole Valley used a big second half to overcome a one-point halftime deficit, shutting out Bethel-Vallejo over the final two quarters to hand the Jaguars their first defeat of the season, 32-21.
"Once we settled down on defense, the kids were dialed in on assignments in the second half," said Pinole Valley coach Luke Bodwin. "Bethel has some tough skill kids and physical linemen. They are well coached and came ready to play."
Tony Freeman's 29-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave Pinole Valley (3-4, 2-1 TCAL-Stone) a 26-21 advantagem and they put the game away with under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, when Nacarre Turner scored from six yards out for the final points of the night.
Turner also had a 48-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give the Spartans a 20-14 lead, but Bethel (6-1, 2-1) retook the lead when Samari White returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards for a score. White had also scored the Jaguars' first touchdown of the game.
"Offensively, we had to eliminate our turnovers, after we lost three first-half fumbles and threw a pick on the first drive of the second half, but our offensive line was having a great night, so we knew we could move the ball," Bodwin added. "Our backs ran hard, and we limited the big play in the second half."
Pinole struck first in the game, when Freeman returned an interception 32 yards for a score. After White tied the game, Mal Turner put Bethel in front with his 10-yard run before Freeman tied it again with an 11-yard scoring run. Freeman had an outstanding all-around game, scoring twice on the ground, hauling in six receptions for 90 yards and adding nine tackles to go with the interception on defense.
Keyshawn Martin also had an interception while Omar Van Ness had seven tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Spartans do not play next week before facing Albany on Oct. 18. Bethel plays at Albany on Oct. 11.