After scoring just 31 points in its first three games, the Gunn football team probably figured it was time to get its offense going. The Titans picked a good time to do just that, opening its SCVAL El Camino Division with a 47-6 blowout victory over visiting Harker on Friday night.
Harker, making its first appearance in the division, was no match for Gunn, which rolled to a 41-0 halftime lead behind its best rushing output of the season. Senior JJ Strnad led the way with a career-high 169 yards on just eight carries. He scored on runs of eight, 16, 36 and 64.
"That was by far our best effort on both sides of the ball," Gunn first-year coach Dan Navarro told gunntitans.com after getting his first-ever victory for the Titans. "We still have a few things to improve on such as penalties, but I was pleased with our effort."
Gunn took just three plays to go 75 yards on its first drive to start the scoring on Strnad's first touchdown, which he followed with a second after a 25-yard punt return by Skyler Larson.
With the score 14-0 at the beginning of the second quarter, Gunn quarterback Andre Guzman connected with Nabil Hamade on a 49-yard score to make it 21-0. Just a few minutes later, Sean Lydster intercepted a pass that was tipped by Strnad and took it back for a 62-yard score to put the Titans up 27-0. Gunn wrapped up the scoring in the half on Strnad's two long runs.
A running clock in the second half helped keep the score down as the Titans managed only a two-yard score Marcus Moreno-Ramos to put them up 47-0. Moreno-Ramos finished with 79 yards rushing as the Titans ground out 299.
Gunn's offensive line of Keenan Venuti, Jeff Suri, Aryeh Furman, Robert Kato, Malik Gil and Hamade opened big holes for Strnad and Moreno-Ramos.
Gunn looked like it would add to the point total early in the fourth when it reached Harker's 21-yard line with over eight minutes left, but the Titans opted to take a knee on four consecutive plays rather than pile on the points.
Gunn won't be able to build on the momentum of its first win as the Titans have a bye next weekend. The Titans return for a game at Santa Clara on Oct. 14.
Palo Alto 29, Homestead 13
Getting two touchdowns each from senior running backs B.J. Boyd and Dre Hill, the Vikings opened defense of their SCVAL De Anza Division title with a solid victory over previously unbeaten Homestead on Friday night in Palo Alto.
Boyd returned a kickoff 83 yards and caught a 26-yard TD pass from sophomore quarterback Keller Chryst to stack Paly (1-0, 3-1) to a 15-13 halftime lead. Hill added TD runs of nine and 16 yards after intermission and finished with 97 yards on 16 carries.
The Paly defense also did its job, stopping the Mustangs (0-1, 3-1) on a fourth-and-goal from the Vikings' 1 in the first half and recovering a fumble, by Gabe Landa, in the second half. Paly, however, did have a hard time stopping Homestead's Tyler Bond and Jorge Talamante, who combined for 41 carries and 186 yards rushing.
Palo Alto trailed only once, at 7-0, by Boyd erased that deficit with his first-quarter TD kickoff return. A two-point conversion by Landa gave the Vikings an 8-7 lead and Paly never trailed after that.
The Vikings rushed for 200 yards but passed for only 67.
Menlo School 37, Mills 0
The Knights cruised to an easy victory over host Mills on Friday to open the PAL Ocean Division season. Sophomore Jack Heneghan threw three touchdown passes and ran for another for the Knights (1-0, 4-0). The game went to a running clock midway through the second quarter.
Heneghan had plenty of targets, and he went to senior Chris Reed, who pulled in two touchdown catches. Senior Dylan Mayer, who scored three touchdowns last week, contributed another TD reception and ran for another. Junior Connor Paterson caught another pass for a touchdown. Menlo now has outscored its four opponents, 107-37.
"The defense played great the entire game," Menlo coach Mark Newton said.
Heneghan connected with junior Connor Paterson on a 70-yard score, threw a three-yard TD pass to Dylan Mayer and found Chris Reed for an eight-yard scoring play. Junior Matt Bradley replaced Heneghan and tossed a seven-yard TD pass to Reed in the first half as Menlo rolled to a 30-0 lead. Junior Timmy Costa booted a 45-yard field goal, also before intermission. Heneghan and Bradley combined for 163 passing yards.
Menlo's defense held Mills without a first down and prevented the Vikings from crossing midfield.