By Andrew Preimesberger
Menlo School racked up 376 yards on offense and won its fifth straight with a dominating 42-10 PAL Bay Division football victory over host Sequoia on Friday night in Redwood City.
The Knights improved to 5-1 (1-0 league) while Sequoia dropped to 3-3 (0-2 league) and lost its third straight game. In four of its past five games, Menlo has won by at least 32 points. The Knights are averaging 48.6 points a game this season.
"Forty-two points is nice but we feel like there's always more that we can get," said senior quarterback Jack Heneghan. "We fought really hard and we'll use this tape to continue improving."
Menlo led off its drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Heneghan to junior wide receiver Jack Marren, putting the Knights up 6-0 early in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Heneghan tried scrambling with the ball but fumbled it right into the end zone where Marren recovered it for the touchdown. The bizarre score put the Knights up 20-3.
"I coughed it up and it was up in the air and got tipped around," said Heneghan. "Jack Marren and Sam Crowder pulled it loose and got on it for a touchdown -- it's always fortunate to have breaks go your way."
Heneghan had 173 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone and totaled 284 passing yards and four touchdowns in the game.
The Menlo defense was superb in the first half. The Cherokees' offense had only 53 yards, three points, and turned the ball over three times.
"Our defense was incredible tonight," said Menlo head coach Mark Newton. "Our first level was able to disrupt which enabled our second and third to make the plays."
Heneghan hooked up with senior wide receiver Graham Stratford for an 18-yard touchdown to put Menlo up 35-3 midway through the fourth quarter. Stratford had his best game of the season, finishing with 135 yards and three touchdowns. The senior now has 504 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.
Junior backup quarterback Austin D'ambra completed his first touchdown pass of the season on a 23-yard catch in the end zone from Stratford giving the Knights the 42-10 lead.
Menlo is set to take on Terra Nova next Friday on the Knights' field at 3 p.m. The Tigers have won six in a row.
"Hopefully our defense will continue to improve the way they did tonight," said Newton. "We need to be more consistent on offense and keep improving our defense."
Palo Alto 55, Saratoga 21
The Vikings' offense finally woke up with a season-high scoring effort in a SCVAL De Anza Division victory over host Saratoga on Friday night.
Senior quarterback Keller Chryst threw for four touchdowns and senior Malcolm Davis rushed for three more as the Vikings bounced back from last week's three-point loss to Wilcox.
Davis, moved to tailback to bolster Paly's up-to-now weak rushing game, gained a career-high 179 yards on only 13 carries. He had scoring runs of 38, 19 and 62 yards -- the last one giving Paly a 48-7 lead in the third quarter.
Chryst had TD passes of 57, 15, 19 and 16 yards -- all to different receivers. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 240 yards. Eli Givens caught three passes for 79 yards and one TD.
On defense, sophomore defensive back Justin Hull returned an interception 20 yards for a score. Connor Scheel had 11 tackles with Tully McCalister adding nine plus an interception. The Vikings had seven tackles for losses as they held the Falcons to 59 rushing yards.