Zach Kline scanned the Logan High defense and delivered the football to his open receivers all night as he helped San Ramon Valley keep the ball away from the Colt offense and secure a second round victory in the NCS Division I playoffs.
The Wolves quarterback bought himself time with pump fakes that froze Logan defenders, as Kline meticulously directed his offense down the field for a 28-14 win against previous undefeated Logan High.
San Ramon Valley moved on to the North Coast Section semifinals for the second straight year, thanks to an impressive performance by its defense and sharp game by its senior quarterback.
The Wolves got off to a quick start on offense with back to back scoring drives in the first quarter.
Kline found receiver Michael Tagliaferri for a 15-yard touchdown and a minute later connected with receiver Justin Bangay for a 32-yard touchdown after San Ramon Valley recovered an onside kick.
The Wolves quarterback finished the game with 223 passing yards and added another touchdown with a quarterback sneak from the one-yard-line in the second quarter.
Logan High moved the ball on the ground well during the game with hard running by Damond Beasley and Warren Long, but the Colts could not get the passing game to be consistent and efficient.
The San Ramon Valley defense just didn’t let up and harassed Colt quarterback Jeffrey Prothro most of the night.
“Defensively we just was wanted to get after them. They've got an explosive running back, an explosive running game,” said Mark Kessler, Wolves head coach. ”We wanted to stop it before it got going, I think it took us a little while to figure that out. but the overall product was pretty dang impressive for us.”
San Ramon Valley implemented a pass heavy offense to dissect the Colt offense with short and intermediate throws.
“We just tried to hit what was there. They’re a real physical team, they’re a great team, they’re a great defense, they’re one of the best defenses we’ve seen and we really pulled together against this team, ” Kline said.
The Logan High defense kept them in the game, playing the Wolves’ running game tough and forcing an interception early in the fourth quarter.
From that turnover the Colts scored on a five-yard touchdown rush by Beasley, cutting their deficit to seven points with a little over seven minutes to play.
However, Kline came back onto the field and iced the Colt’s momentum as he operated his offense with surgeon-like precision and used his legs when needed, burning almost four minutes off the clock.
He marched the Wolves to the 15 yard line, from where tailback Jordan Weiss scored the team’s final touchdown.
“He’s done that all year. We’ve won I think six games in the fourth quarter and is something that we expect,” said Kessler of Kline’s fourth quarter play. “He’s that good and we expect that from him.”
“We knew is was going to be a barn burner and the game lived up to that,” said Logan High head coach George Zuber. “It was a hard fought game on both sides. We had our opportunities; we drove down to field but didn’t capitalize on a couple of possessions. That’s the difference in a big game.”
San Ramon Valley will play the winner of the San Leandro versus Monte Vista game Saturday night.
“We wanted to win, we wanted to see Monte Vista again, get a rematch and proved who’s a better team,” Kline said.