By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
Robert Wickers could have thrown for whatever he wanted in Menlo School's 49-0 nonleague football victory over visiting St. Elizabeth (Oakland) on Saturday night at Woodside High.
Instead, he took it easy, taking the second half off and watching backup Tommy Ford drive the Knights (3-1) to one final touchdown.
Former Menlo School and Stanford star John Paye, an assistant with Knights' coach Mark Newton, must have been impressed. Paye and Newton were both top-notch signalcallers for Menlo, as was Danny Diekroeger, last year's star now at Stanford.
Wickers, who stumbled out of the starting gate in Menlo's first game of the season, has swiftly made up for any mistakes. He was firing on all cylinders against the Mustangs, needing nine completions in 12 attempts to gain 173 yards and four touchdowns. For good measure he also rushed for a 45-yard touchdown on his only running attempt.
Menlo and St. Elizabeth are former league rivals. The Knights were originally in the Bay League. Paye led the Knights to a North Coast Section title in Menlo's first year with the league.
These days Menlo competes in the PAL Ocean Division, roughly the same quality of the old Bay League. Having Paye and Newton around must be amazing for Wickers, who can draw on their experiences.
Wickers will likely see plenty more playing time when Menlo opens division play in two weeks at Half Moon Bay. The Knights don't play next weekend.
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 Vickers' 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 Ford.
Beau Nichols was also a part-time participant. He wrapped up duties with 91 rushing yards on seven carries, all in the first half.
Menlo kicker Kamyaar Butt had a terrific game, making good on all seven of his PAT attempts and even kicking off a couple into the end zone.
The Knights gained 430 total yards, equally distributed among running (204 yards) and passing (226 yards).
Sacred Heart Prep 35, Scotts Valley 28
Getting the winning touchdown with just 28.4 seconds to play, Sacred Heart Prep remained unbeaten with a thrilling victory over host Scotts Valley on Saturday.
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 completed four passes that traveled 40 yards or more, including TDs of 50 and 44 yards to Tomas O'Donnell, who caught six balls for a career-high 153 yards.
Tyler McCool caught a 40-yard TD pass that gave SHP a 28-14 lead in the third quarter. Duke Moran set up the Gators' first score, a three-yard run by Pedro Robinson, with a 74-yard reception.
Will Morgan intercepted a pass for SHP while 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.
Scotts Valley (0-4) also went to the air and recorded 213 passing yards.