LIVINGSTON -- With the spread offenses and the high-tech offensive attacks taking over football, it's almost refreshing to watch two teams go toe-to-toe, happy to gain their three yards in clouds of dust.
So there was Central Catholic, taking over at its own 30 with 5 minutes, 16 seconds left, just looking to hold on to the ball after unbeaten Livingston had just scored to pull within 32-27.
Central (4-2) just needed a couple first downs to keep the clock running, and it chose to do it all on the ground. Nothing fancy, just pound-it football because that's what this game called for.
Ten straight running plays did the trick.
CC moved the chains four times, including a fourth-and-1 conversion at midfield with 54 seconds left, allowing Sauls to take a knee and Central Catholic to escape with the victory in the Western Athletic Conference opener.
For most of the game upstart Livingston seemed only one play away from doing the unthinkable -- pinning a conference loss on Central Catholic.
Livingston had suffered four straight shutout losses to Central Catholic, and many considered this a mismatch despite its 5-0 start, mainly because of the series' recent history.
But the large crowd that attended Livingston's biggest home game in years had to come away thinking that except for two big plays -- two Livingston mistakes -- the home team could have stolen the victory.
The score tightened up to 26-21 when Adrian Muniz ran in from the 7 with 3:31 left in the third quarter, but Central quickly answered when Craig Jones grabbed a 39-yard pass from Chris Sauls on a seam route just before the end of the third quarter to stretch the margin to 32-21.
Livingston took over at its 18 with 7:40 left and moved to its final score, thanks in no small part to running back Charles Brown (12 carries, 119 yards) hitting Gabe Deol for 35 yards on a fake punt.
Four plays later Livingston was in the end zone, but with more than five minutes to play they eschewed an onside kick for the hope of forcing Central Catholic to punt.
Livingston never again saw the football.
LOS BANOS 43, CERES 0
Los Banos running back Darron Brown reeled off 158 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a homecoming win.
DOS PALOS 42, WASH. UNION 41
EASTON -- Kevin Schofield had a monster night, finished with 335 yards and six touchdowns on 44 carries.
Washington Union went for the two-point conversion after its final touchdown, but the pass was incomplete.
LE GRAND 58, DELHI 0
DELHI -- Alex Bucio threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns as Le Grand cruised.
MARIPOSA 46, TURLOCK CHR. 0
TURLOCK -- Brandon Kinalele returned the opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown and added three mores scores on the ground for Mariposa.
WATERFORD 54, GUSTINE 19
GUSTINE -- Dave Hill hauled in three first-quarter touchdowns as Waterford jumped out to a big lead early. Jose Gonzalez finished with 168 yards receiving and and two touchdowns for Gustine.
BIG VALLEY CHR. 21
STONE RIDGE CHR. 0
ATWATER -- Luke Lemmings, Nick Martin and Jonathan Golliher all scored touchdowns on the ground for Big Valley Christian.