By Andrew Preimesberger
Palo Alto Online Sports
Junior quarterback Keller Chryst threw for 159 yards and four touchdowns to lead Palo Alto to a 48-0 nonleague football whitewash of visiting crosstown rival Gunn on Friday night.
Palo Alto improved to 2-1 while Gunn fell to 2-2.
Palo Alto leads the all-time annual series against Gunn 35-13 and now has a winning streak of 10 over the Titans.
"It feels good to beat this team," said junior wide receiver Malcolm Davis. "Especially the way we did -- shutting them out."
Senior running back Matt Tolbert set the table early for the Vikings with an eight-yard touchdown run to put Paly ahead 7-0 in the first quarter. Tolbert had a solid game, rushing for 141 yards and scoring three touchdowns -- one on a pass from Chryst.
With 6:55 left to go in the second quarter, Chryst lofted a two-yard touchdown pass to Tolbert, putting Palo Alto up 27-0 and dimming Gunn's chances of a comeback.
Chryst ended the second quarter with a pass in the flat to Davis for a 17-yard touchdown to put the Vikings up 34-0 at halftime.
The Titans, completely shut down by the effective Vikings' defense, totaled a mere 25 yards in the first half. The defense was led by senior linebacker Andrew Frick, who contributed two sacks.
Paly came out in the third quarter and immediately scored again, this time on a 15-yard touchdown run by Tolbert -- his third of the game -- to extend the shutout to 41-0.
The Palo Alto defense gave up a total of 55 total rushing yards and just five yards on one pass completion in the game. The offense was outstanding as well as it totaled 359 yards.
"We've got Milpitas next week -- we'll be ready to go," said Palo Alto head coach Earl Hansen.
Menlo School 56, Half Moon Bay 14
Despite coming off a bye week, the Knights' offense picked up where it left off in a big nonleague romp over host Half Moon Bay on Friday night.
The Knights improved to 3-0 overall with one more nonleague matchup against Mills at home Friday afternoon before Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division play begins. The Cougars, a PAL Bay Division team, fell to 1-3.
By halftime Friday, Menlo had built a 42-0 lead. As they had in their previous games, the Knights dealt a balanced attack, executed a nearly impenetrable defense and got big plays from its special teams. Quarterbacks Matt Bradley and Jack Heneghan and receiver Wiley Osborne combined on 12-of-13 passing for 276 yards.
"The kids were well prepared, they did everything well in all three facets of the game, " said Menlo coach Mark Newton, whose team has outscored its opponents 178-52.
Receiver Connor Stastny pulled in five catches for 145 yards, and Osborne converted his two catches to 80 receiving yards and two TDs. Fellow seniors Travis Chambers, who had a pair of touchdowns, and Heru Peacock fueled the Knights' running game that also got big contributions from Heneghan.
For the third game, senior Max Parker ran back a kickoff for a touchdown -- this time on a broken play. On another first-half play, Osborne took the handoff and then flipped the ball to junior Will King for a 19-yard score. Shortly after, Osborne made a spectacular one-handed catch for a 60-yard touchdown.
Ever consistent, the defense had its own share of big plays. In the third quarter, the Knights did not run an offensive play. Defensive back Brock Burgess ran back an interception 75 yards for a score. Linebackers Jack Ferguson, King and Christian Pluchar had strong outings as did the secondary, including Osborne, Peter Bouret, Chambers (12 tackles) and Stastny. Nose guard Wyatt Rouser had another standout game.
Seniors Chris Atkeson and Zach Smith anchored the line on both sides of the ball.
"They're playing really well, and the thing is, we still have six or seven lineman playing both ways," Newton added.
"We told them this is going to be a big test: we saw Half Moon Bay play (during the bye week), and they're a good team," Newton said. "The extra week to prepare helped us. We're just striking on all cylinders."
Menlo Atherton 13, South San Francisco 7
Getting a pair of field goals from Blake Olsen and a touchdown run by defensive lineman Alan Sakalia, the Menlo-Atherton football team evened its record at 2-2 with a 13-7 nonleague victory over visiting South San Francisco on Friday. The triumph was the Bears' home opener.
Menlo-Atherton was offensively challenged after totaling 195 yards for the game, 132 coming on the ground. Tasi Teu led the ground game with 106 yards on 18 carries. Olsen gave M-A a 3-0 lead on his first field goal and made it 6-0 after the third period. His longest field goal was 37 yards. Sakalia wrapped things up with a TD run in the fourth quarter.
Jonathan Simonian led the defensive effort with 10 tackles with Sakalia and Brian Jaggers adding nine tackles each. Jamar Gaddis intercepted a pass and Tom Bucka recovered a fumble.
Priory 64, Alma Heights 20
James McDaniel carried 14 times for 220 yards and scored touchdowns on runs of 10, 30, 62 and 10 yards to pace Priory to a 64-20 victory over host Alma Heights on Friday night in Pacifica in eight-man football action.
Malik Reid rushed eight times for 83 yards with TD runs of 10 and 11 yards as the Panthers improved to 3-0. Quarterback Will Latt gained 81 yards on five carries and scored on runs of 55 and two yards. David Theis got into the scoring with a 73-yard kickoff return.