Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - October 1, 2010

PREP FOOTBALL THIS WEEKEND

Wilcox (2-1) at Palo Alto (3-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The Vikings will open defense of their SCVAL De Anza Division title against a Chargers' team that doesn't appear as dangerous as in years past. "They're slow," said Paly coach Earl Hansen. "They don't have the speed they used to." Running back Michael Roman has gained 315 yards rushing, the same passing total as quarterback Nick Morehead. Paly already has faced better running and passing teams and Wilcox certainly isn't tougher than San Benito after losing to the Haybalers, 34-7, two weeks ago. Paly beat that San Benito team, 23-6, last Friday. The Haybalers couldn't run or throw against the Vikings. "They couldn't move the ball," said Hansen. "We played good defense. It's going to be really difficult to run on us." Palo Alto held the Haybalers to 70 yards rushing and just 94 total yards. The Vikings have allowed only 222 rushing yards, an average of 74 yards per game. The Vikings allowed just two field goals and now have given up only 22 points this season. Palo Alto's running game is still searching for an identity after gaining just 304 yards in three games. Senior QB Christoph Bono, meanwhile, has completed 44 of 64 passes (.688 percent) for 503 yards and five touchdowns. Bono was 21 of 28 for 198 yards against the Haybalers. Senior wideout Davante Adams, who had 10 catches for 108 yards and a TD last week, has 20 receptions for 257 yards. Linebacker/running back Michael Cullen has been great on both sides of the ball. He has eight receptions for 99 yards. Another top two-way player is T.J. Braff, who caught TD passes of 15 and six yards against San Benito. He's also a standout 6-foot-4 safety. Other defensive standouts from last week include

safety Gabe Landa and tackle Nathan Hubbard, who provided the final points with a combined tackle for a safety in the fourth quarter.Tackles Chris Martinez and Spencer Drazovich plus defensive end Kevin Anderson also were singled out by Hansen. Opponents are averaging only 175.3 offensive yards per game against Paly.

Cupertino (1-2) at Gunn (2-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The Titans have a good chance of putting together a winning streak their Homecoming game against the Pioneers, who have lost two straight. Gunn, meanwhile, is coming off an impressive 21-0 nonleague win over Hillsdale last week.

Gunn senior Josh Jackson, despite feeling ill at game time, nonetheless had the finest statistical game of his career by rushing for 202 yards on 16 carries and scoring two touchdowns while handing Hillsdale its first loss in four games. A week earlier, Gunn looked out of synch in a 21-3 loss to Burlingame. "That was a better performance," Gunn coach Bob Sykes said of the Hillsdale win. "We were solid on both sides of the ball." Solid was the right word as the list of outstanding performances was long, starting with the offensive tandem of quarterback Anthony Cannon and Jackson plus the line play of Keenan Venuti and Jim Hinton. Cannon got the Titans going on their opening drive when, on fourth-and- three from Hillsdale's 30, he did a beautiful play-action pass to Russell Savage, who caught it at the five and went into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

Jackson took over in the second half with two long runs, the first being a 57-yard touchdown run to give Gunn a 14-0 lead on its first possession of the second half. Later in the quarter Jackson went 41 yards that didn't result in points. Helping Jackson on the runs was the blocking of Hinton, Venuti, Alex Sutherland, Matt Hurst and Peter Legenhausen. Hinton was also outstanding on defense while helping Gunn limit Hillsdale to just 42 yards rushing and 185 total yards.

M-A (0-3) at San Mateo (2-1), Friday, 3 p.m.

The Bears are coming off a bye week after losing to Jefferson, 17-0, prior to that. M-A needs to generate a consistent offense while keeping turnovers to a minimum, in addition to finding a way to stop San Mateo's George Naufahu, who is averaging 125 rushing yards per game. The Bears are led by Cameron Moody's 72 rushing yards per game and quarterback Willy Fonua, who is averaging 94.5 passing yards. Kyle Zirbes has been averaging 7.5 tackles per game for M-A.

Pinewood (1-1) at Stuart Hall (1-1), Saturday, 1 p.m.

The Panthers scored 40 points last week, but unfortunately gave up 48 in a nonleague loss to host King's Christian (Lemoore). Pinewood had its scheduled game at Clovis Christian cancelled, but rescheduled at the last minute. Dante Fraioli was a one-man wrecking crew for Pinewood as he rushed 14 times for 167 yards and scored four touchdowns. He also was in on 13 tackles (10 solo) and returned three kicks for 86 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Max Darrow carried 10 times for 134 yards as Pinewood gained 367 rushing yards on 42 carries. The Panthers also lost four fumbles. Stuart Hall is in only its first season of competition and its team is made up primarily of basketball players. It's first-ever win was a 42-22 decision over Trinity Christian, a team that Priory beat last week, 44-0.

Crystal Springs (2-1) at Priory (2-1), Saturday, 1 p.m.

Priory is coming off a big 44-0 nonleague victory over Trinity Christian (Monterey) last Saturday in eight-man football. Connor Mather rushed for 120 yards on only four carries and scored two touchdowns while quarterback David Beleson threw for 68 yards, one a 37-yard scoring strike to Matt Schwab, in addition to running for two scores. James McDaniel carried 10 times for 86 yards as the Panthers gained 263 yards on the ground. Priory will be up against a team still smarting from a 74-32 loss to Anchorpoint Christian last weekend. The Gryphons, however, are averaging 43.6 points a game, a stat that Priory needs to be concerned about.

Last week:

Sacred Heart Prep (4-0) and Menlo School (3-1) have byes this week after registering big nonleague victories last week.Menlo's Robert Wickers completed nine of 12 passes for 173 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-0 romp over St. Elizabeth at Woodside High. Wickers also scored on a 45-yard run. Brad Eckert was a major reason why the Mustangs never scored. The senior linebacker recovered three fumbles (one was of a teammate) and forced another that Sean Hoag snagged. He also recorded a sack, plenty of tackles for a loss and generally made a nuisance of himself in the Mustangs' backfield. Tim Benton got the Knights off to a flying start, returning the opening kickoff 84 yards for a score. He also caught the first of Wckers' touchdown passes, a 25-yard scoring play. Wickers spread the wealth around. He also completed touchdown passes of 25 yards to John Shanley, 20 yards to Phil Anderson and one yard to Tommy Ford, who played QB in the second half. Beau Nichols had 91 rushing yards on seven carries, all in the first half. The Knights gained 430 total yards, equally distributed among running (204 yards) and passing (226 yards). Sacred Heart Prep, meanwhile, had to wait until the final 28.4 seconds to score the winning TD in its 35-28 win at Scotts Valley. Robert Ojeda provided the deciding points on a 12-yard run, which capped a comeback after Scotts Valley had rallied from a 14-point deficit to force a 28-28 deadlock. Ojeda finished with 103 yards on 18 carries. SHP senior quarterback John Geary helped give the Gators (4-0) the lead by completing 10 of 12 passes for a career-high 273 yards and three touchdowns. Geary threw TD passes of 50 and 44 yards to Tomas O'Donnell, who caught six balls for a career-high 153 yards. Hunter Shaw was in on 16 tackles (six solo), Matt Hardy was in on 13 and Luke Thomas had 10 tackles, five of them solo.

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