Northgate High's dreams of a football championship came to an abrupt end Saturday night on a field in Rohnert Park.
The Broncos saw the game slip away in the second half as Rancho Cotate High struck quickly in the third quarter on their way to a 30-17 victory in the semi-finals of the NCS Division II playoffs.
The second seeded Cougars will now play top seeded Clayton Valley High on Friday night at Diablo Valley College for the Division II championship.
The third seeded Broncos finished their fine season with a 9-3 record, including a 30-6 playoff victory last week over Newark Memorial High. Rancho Cotate is now 12-0.
The semi-final battle Saturday night was close during the first half.
Rancho Cotate struck first, midway through the first quarter. The Cougars recovered a fumble on the Northgate 12 and scored three plays later.
The Broncos answered back early in the second quarter with a touchdown of their own to tie the score at 7-7.
The two teams traded field goals late in the second period to make the game 10-10 at halftime.
Rancho Cotate came out strong in the third quarter, scoring on a 25-yard pass and then a 98-yard run to pull out to a 23-10 lead.
A 31-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter made the score 30-10.
A late touchdown by Northgate made the final, 30-17.
For more high school sports results, go to the Contra Costa Times prep sports page.