Before the season began, Menlo School football coach Mark Newton said he wasn't concern about trying to replace graduated quarterback Danny Diekroeger and his 4,100-plus passing yards from last season. Newton just wanted to focus on how his team could move the ball.
Given the job to do that was untested senior Robert Wickers, who spent much of his junior year as Diekroeger's understudy. Now, with the chance to show that he, too, can throw the ball, Wickers has performed quite well.
On Saturday night, Wickers threw for 263 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Knights to a lopsided 49-7 nonleague victory over host Justin Siena in Napa. The win was Menlo's second straight as the Knights improved to 2-1.
Menlo senior Tim Benton caught five passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Beau Nichols also had two touchdown catches in addition to leading Menlo on the ground with 78 yards on six hauls.
Menlo didn't waste any time taking the lead as Wickers and Benton hooked on for a 71-yard TD with just 20 seconds gone. After Justin Siena (0-3) tied things with a 35-yard scoring drive, Menlo senior Jordan Williams took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 95 yards for a touchdown and the Knights never trailed.
Menlo then recovered an onside kick and capitalized on it with Wickers throwing a 13-yard scoring pass to Benton for a 21-7 game. The strong-armed Wickers later threw TD passes of 32 and 15 yards to Nichols. The fifth scoring pass came
Wickers added two more touchdown passes to Nichols, one for 32 yards and the second for 15, to give the Knights a 35-7 lead at the half.
On Menlo's first possession of the second half, Wickers added his fifth touchdown pass of the night when he hooked up with Philip Anderson on a 24-yard play.
A fumble by Justin Siena in the fourth quarter gave Menlo a final scoring opportunity and the Knights took advantage. Nichols scored his third TD of the game on a 43-yard run.