Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - October 8, 2010

Gunn (0-0, 3-1) at Palo Alto (1-0, 4-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The Vikings bring a seven-game winning streak over the Titans into their annual grudge match, which counts in the SCVAL De Anza Division standings. That means Palo Alto can take a step closer to defending its division crown by taking care of business in this Homecoming game. In the past seven games against Gunn, the Vikings have won by an average of 37-8. Both teams are coming off big tuneup victories. Paly held off always-tough Wilcox, 28-15, last Friday to open the division season while Gunn crushed Cupertino, 56-14, to conclude nonleague play. This will be an important game for Paly senior quarterback Christoph Bono, who suffered a broken clavicle in his right throwing shoulder in last season's 27-7 win. Bono missed the remainder of the season. He is healthy again, as evidence of his 676 passing yards (on 53 of 80 attempts) with seven TDs. The key for Bono is to get past this game in good shape while continuing to improve and take his team into the postseason. Bono was tackled for a safety and threw a first-quarter interception last week against Wilcox, but bounced back with nine completions for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back B.J. Boyd made his long-awaited contribution by rushing for one TD and returning a kickoff for another. Paly also took advantage on defense with a fumble recovery in the final 4:41 and an interception by Davante Adams with than two minutes to play. Gunn, meanwhile, is coming off a school record-tying 56-point outburst against Cupertino while rushing for 476 yards. The last time Gunn scored 56 points in a single game was in 2002 (against Lynbrook). That season also was the last time the Titans defeated Palo Alto (40-19). Gunn seniors Josh Jackson and Anthony Cannon led the onslaught against Cupertino, with Jackson carrying eight times for 156 yards and Cannon adding 148 yards on nine hauls for the best one-two run punch of the season. Cannon also threw for 151 yards and Jackson, who was named Homecoming king at halftime, scored touchdowns on runs of 41 and 63 yards plus an 89-yard kickoff return. Henry Ayala, returning to the field (from injury) for the first time since the opening game, also scored three TDs for the Titans. "It was a great night," said Jackson. "Winning the game and winning Homecoming king, it doesn't get much better than that." Actually, it may. The Titans have allowed only 35 points this season.

Burlingame (2-2) at SH Prep (4-0), Friday, 3 p.m.

Both teams will open their respective PAL Bay Division seasons. The Panthers are coming off a 42-12 win over Woodside while the Gators had a bye last week. SHP is averaging 300 rushing yards per game with Colin Terndrup leading the way with 136.3 yards per game. Senior QB John Geary has completed 37 of 51 passes (an efficient .725 percent) for 756 yards and seven TDs while Tomas O'Donnell has caught 15 passes for 278 yards, making the Gators tough to defend. This game will be a tuneup for SHP's showdown with King's Academy on Oct. 16.

Alma Heights (0-1, 0-3) at Pinewood (2-0, 2-1), Friday, 4 p.m.

The Panthers are coming off a big 50-30 win over first-year Stuart Hall and are favored again in this Coastal Athletic League game. Dante Fraioli is averaging 119 rushing yards per game while Pinewood teammate Matt Darrow is next at 79 per game.

Menlo (3-1) at Half Moon Bay (3-1), Friday, 6 p.m.

Both teams open PAL Ocean Division play. The Cougars are coming off a 34-21 win over El Camino while the Knights were idle last week. Menlo quarterback Robert Wickers needs to generate offense through the air once again after compiling 898 passing yards on 60-of-89 (.674) in the first four games. Knights' wideout Tim Benton has caught 18 passes for 374 yards while averaging 20.78 yards per catch. Menlo senior Beau Nichols leads the run game with 353 yards on 45 carries.

Last week:

Menlo-Atherton ended its three-game losing streak with a stunning 34-6 victory over host San Mateo in a nonleague contest. Devonte Piper who caught three passes for 67 yards, including a magical reception, just off the top of the grass and between two San Mateo defenders, that helped set up the Bears' first touchdown. Piper also rushed 10 yards for a score in the third quarter, meeting his would-be tacklers head on and muscling his way into the end zone with them. A healthy Willy Fonua, who suffered a mild concussion in M-A's first-game loss to Wilcox, threw for 138 yards on 12-of-14 passing and a touchdown. He also rushed for another score. Fonua combined with six other running backs to gain 211 rushing yards, led by Taylor Mashack's 60 yards and Cameron Moody's 54 yards. Stas Della Morte caught a 16-yard touchdown on the heels of a bad snap on a punt attempt. Mashack and Charles Washington both scored for the Bears.

Austin Clarence's interception set up the final touchdown.

-- compiled by Keith Peters

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