Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - October 15, 2010

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

The Bears are coming off a big 35-14 victory over King's Academy to open the PAL Bay Division and are averaging 34.5 points in their past two wins after an 0-3 start. The Bears' latest effort came in their Homecoming game, which had to be played at Sequoia High when a court injunction blocked the use of temporary lights at M-A. No matter, the Bears made the best of it with a huge win, battling back from a 14-0 deficit in the second quarter and scoring 35 unanswered points. M-A now has outscored the opposition by 69-20 in its past two games. The Menlo-Atherton offensive line had a lot to do with the comeback as the Bears rushed for a remarkable 320 yards on 39 carries. M-A head coach Sione Taufoou singled out Noah Stid, Taylor Karis, Ricky Vea, Ausia Mataele, Tiulipe Lolohea and Semisi Mataele for opening holes for running backs Cameron Moody (15 carries, 112 yards) and Junior Sakalia (nine carries, 83 yards), who accounted for four touchdowns. Moody scored on runs of 12, two and seven yards after Sakalia had run one in from 25 yards in the second quarter to make it a 14-7 game at halftime. The Bears' defense also was outstanding as it picked off two passes and recovered four fumbles, turning three of the recoveries into TDs. Menlo-Atherton did give up 166 rushing yards to Stanford-bound Amir Carlisle, but limited the rest of the Knights to just 157 yards.

San Mateo (0-1, 2-3) at Menlo (1-0, 4-1), Friday, 3:30 p.m.

The Knights hope to have more than just Homecoming to celebrate in their home opener. Menlo comes in averaging 36.2 points a game while giving up just 14. Senior quarterback Robert Wickers, who threw for a career-high 325 yards and two touchdowns to pace the Knights to a 40-22 thumping of host Half Moon Bay in a PAL Ocean Division opener last Friday night, has completed 82 of 121 passes for 1,251 yards and 14 TDs. He's averaging 250.2 yards per game. Senior running back/linebacker Beau Nichols also had a big game against HMB, rushing for 106 rushing yards and scoring four TDs in addition to catching seven passes for 85 yards and another score. He also intercepted a pass while playing both ways. Tim Benton caught six passes for 111 yards.

Saratoga (0-1, 2-2) at Gunn (0-1 (3-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The Titans will need to bounce back after dropping a 49-14 decision to host Palo Alto to open the SCVAL De Anza Division season last weekend. "That a great football team," Gunn coach Bob Sykes said about Palo Alto. "They have no weaknesses." Sykes had reason to be impressed as even after Gunn hit some milestones against Palo Alto. The Titans simply were outmanned against the best public school football team in the Central Coast Section and one of the best football teams (period) in the section. The Titans actually led 7-0 after two nifty pass plays by Anthony Cannon to Matt Mertz that gained 50 and 15 yards with the second one going in for a touchdown to give Gunn a 7-0 lead with 9:50 to go in the first quarter. The touchdown marked the first time since a 50 yard touchdown pass from Tucker Laurence to Kevin Gordon in 2004 that gave Gunn a 13-10 lead in the fourth quarter that the Titans had led Palo Alto in a game. Gunn also has the distinction of having the largest lead of any of Palo Altos' opponents this year as the Vikings had never trailed by more than two points in their previous games. For Titan fans who were hoping that Gunn would win for the first time over Palo Alto since their 40-19 win in 2002, those hopes were quickly dashed.

Pinewood (2-0, 3-1) at Cornerstone Christian (0-5), Saturday, 1 p.m.

The Panthers look to add another victory against a team that forfeited to Priory last weekend. Pinewood, meanwhile, is coming off a 48-12 victory over Alma Heights that saw Dante Fraioli score two touchdowns in the Coastal Athletic League game. John Bennett took over as the team's QB and also produced two touchdowns, one throwing and one rushing.

King's Academy (0-1, 3-2) at SHP (0-1, 4-1), Saturday, 2:30 p.m.

The Gators find themselves in an unusual position this weekend, having to bounce back from a tough loss. SHP failed to score in the second half and lost a 13-9 decision to visiting Burlingame to open the PAL Bay Division Division. "We have to bounce back," said SHP's Colin Terndrup, who gained 80 yards rushing but was kept out of the end zone against Burlingame. "We just have to get better and come back stronger." The Gators seemed well on their way to the go-ahead score after taking over at midfield following a short punt. Their final drive began with 5:28 showing on the game clock. Quarterback John Geary and Tomas O'Donnell hooked up on a 15-yard pass play to jump start the drive and Pedro Robinson picked another 20 yards on three carries. Tyler McCool, who caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Geary with 18 seconds left in the first half, and Terndrup also made clutch runs. Terndrup got the Gators a first-and-goal at the six. Robinson went wide right and seemed to be headed into the end zone just as Burlingame's Deke Marquardt knocked him out of bounds inches short. Geary didn't go anywhere on a quarterback sneak, leaving the final inch or so to Terndrup, who was met at the line of scrimmage and driven back. The Gators outgained Burlingame, 311-263, and produced 16 first downs. Jack Odell got the party started with his 23-yard field goal with 2:23 left in the first quarter. Still, it wasn't enough.

Priory (2-2, 3-2) at Anchorpoint Christian (2-0, 5-0), Saturday, 7 p.m.

The Panthers will be facing the league's most dominant team, which has outscored the opposition, 140-32, in the past two games. Priory, meanwhile, picked up a forfeit over Cornerstone Christian last weekend.

-- compiled by Keith Peters

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