San Mateo’s offense started strong, and then its defense did the rest as the Bearcats defeated Burlingame 17-14, snapping a 13-game losing streak vs. their rivals in the Little Big Game.
Around 3,000 fans attended the 96th meeting between the schools. Burlingame still leads the series 59-33-4.
The Bearcats led 17-6 at halftime and then held on. Xavier Zaragoza, filling in at running back as a replacement for 1,000-yard rusher Emmanuel Fitzgerald, who was attending a funeral, carried 25 times for 88 yards with a touchdown.
It was another productive day on the ground for a team that entered Saturday averaging 299.9 rushing yards per game.
San Mateo may not pass very often, coming into the game throwing just 42 passes all season. But quarterback Cameron Palma completed the only pass he attempted, and it went for a 25-yard touchdown to Matt Radulovich.
Gabe Buenrostro rushed for 54 yards. Felipe Sorbara and Palma had interceptions.
San Mateo had lost each of the previous 11 meetings by at least 10 points, including a 49-21 loss last season.
Angelo Medina scored on a 2-yard run and a Luke Levitt-to-Jake Flood pass accounted for another TD for Burlingame (3-7), which will advance to the CCS playoffs as one of the five automatic qualifiers from the PAL Bay.
San Mateo (6-4), the third-place finisher from the PAL Ocean, is hoping for an at-large berth at Sunday’s seeding meeting.