M-A runs past Jefferson, remains in tie for first


By Andrew Preimesberger

Palo Alto Online Sports

In one of the more remarkable weekends for local high school football, all seven local teams won. Moreover, some of the results produce remarkable individual performances that rank among the best ever in their respective school histories.

Two running backs -- Gunn's JJ Strnad and Priory's James McDaniel -- rushed for more than 330 yards each and scored a combined 72 points.

Two quarterbacks -- Menlo's Jack Heneghan and Palo Alto's Keller Chryst -- threw for four touchdowns each and combined for more than 600 passing yards.

And one team -- Menlo-Atherton -- remained unbeaten in league while another -- Palo Alto -- moved into a tie for first place with a chance of defending its league crown.

Here's a look at the past weekend, which saw Menlo-Atherton, Gunn, Palo Alto, Menlo School, Sacred Heart Prep, Priory and Pinewood all win.

At Menlo-Atherton 21, Jefferson 7

Senior running back Taylor Mashack ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns to lead Menlo-Atherton to a 21-7 PAL Bay Division win over visiting Jefferson Friday night.

Menlo-Atherton (5-2 overall) remained tied with Terra Nova for first place in the league at 3-0, while Jefferson fell to 0-2 (1-5 overall).

Jefferson junior quarterback Marcel Evans threw for 248 yards, but the Indians couldn't move the ball on the ground against a tough M-A defense. Jefferson rushed for a total of seven yards on 21 carries in the game.

Cameron Moody set the table early for the Bears with a 54-yard touchdown run at the end of the first quarter to put M-A up 7-0. In the second half, M-A's run game started to come alive as Mashack ran for his two touchdowns to seal the win.

M-A defensive back Charles Washington had an interception while teammate Richard Cornew had a pair of sacks to help spark the defensive effort.

Bears' quarterback Uilifeleti (Willy) Fonua was ineffective in the air as he completed just 4 of 16 passes for 91 yards. However, the Bears totaled 252 yards on the ground to power their way to the win.

Jefferson's Jesse Gilson caught four passes for 72 yards to lead all receivers.

M-A is set to play host to Sacred Heart Prep in a league matchup next week.

"We're going into Sacred Heart," said Mashack. "It's a big rivalry you know, we're trying to sustain that No. 1 spot."

"For us, we don't worry about CCS," said Menlo-Atherton coach Sione Ta'ufo'ou. "It's one day at a time, just get better every day."

Gunn 41, at Cupertino 20

Gunn senior JJ Strnad rushed 13 times for a career-high 341 yards and scored six touchdowns to pace the Titans to a wild victory over Cupertino in SCVAL El Camino Division action on Friday night.

"I had some ridiculous holes thanks to my line and running back Marcos Moreno-Ramos," said Strnad after the game. "I also got great blocking by my receivers Brandon Choroski and Skyler Larson."

Strnad had five rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown while compiling 356 total yards in one of the finest single-game performances in school history. Strnad scored on a 62-yard touchdown on his first carry while his final carry produced a school-record 97-yard scoring run.

The six touchdowns and 36 points are a school record, breaking the mark of five TDs by Bill Norberg in a 33-0 victory in 1968. Norberg scored all 33 points in that game.

"That was an impressive performance," Gunn head coach Dan Navarro told after the game. "That's the most yards I've ever seen anybody gain."

Gunn quarterback Andre Guzman completed nine passes in 15 attempts for 133 yards to provide the Titans with a nice offensive balance. Defensively, Mike Jorgensen had a pair of sacks and three tackles for loss while Moreno-Ramos and Kevin Sharp had interceptions.

Gunn was so dominant on offense that the Titans didn't punt the ball until their 11th possession with only 2:32 remaining in the game. Gunn will host Monta Vista next Friday for homecoming at 7:30 p.m.

"I'm happy with the win, but we have a lot of things to improve on," said Navarro. "Monta Vista is going to be a tough opponent next week."

Palo Alto 41, at Saratoga 9

With sophomore quarterback Keller Chryst throwing four first-half touchdowns, the Palo Alto football team rolled to a 41-9 victory over host Saratoga in a SCVAL De Anza Division game Friday night.

The Vikings improved to 3-1 in league and 5-2 overall, grabbing a 34-6 halftime lead. Chryst completed just five of nine passes but for 245 yards and four touchdowns. One reception went to junior Jayshawn Gates-Mouton for a 97-yard TD.

Palo Alto moved back into a tie for first place in the De Anza Division after Milpitas (3-1, 6-1) handed Los Gatos (2-1-1, 5-1-1) a 35-30 defeat on Friday night. The Vikings now have a chance to defend their division title by beating Mountain View and Los Altos in home games and then defeating host Milpitas on Nov. 11 in the regular-season finale.

Sacred Heart Prep 21, at King's Academy 20

Sacred Heart Prep remained in the thick of the PAL Bay Division football race with a closer-than-expected victory over host King's Academy on Friday night in Sunnyvale as the Gators stopped a two-point conversion try with 1:59 left in the game.

Tyler McCool gave the Gators a 7-0 lead on a 54-yard run and Pat Bruni made it 14-0 on a five-yard TD reception from Jack Larson. Duke Moran caught a six-yard scoring pass from Larson in the fourth quarter and Brendan Spilane converted the deciding PAT.

McCool finished with a game-high 170 rushing yards on 18 carries for the Gators, who improved to 2-1 in league and 6-1 overall heading into next Friday's showdown at Menlo-Atherton.

Menlo School 48, at Sequoia 28

Sophomore quarterback Jack Heneghan came up with a career-high game as he completed 19 of 37 passes for 368 yards and four touchdowns, with no interception, to pace the Knights past Sequoia in PAL Ocean Division action Friday night.

Menlo (1-2, 5-2) kept its Central Coast Section playoff hopes alive with the victory.

Dylan Mayer caught six passes for 119 yards, including a 57-yard scoring reception. He also scored on a three-yard run. Chris Reed caught five passes for 68 yards and Tommy Ford latched onto three for 85, including a 78-yard TD.

Priory 48, Trinity Christian 40

James McDaniel produced 400 all-purpose yards and ran for five touchdowns to pace the Panthers (3-4) to a big victory in eight-man action on Friday in Portola Valley.

McDaniel carried 33 times for 339 yards, scored 36 points (including three two-point runs) and had 61 yards in kick returns. His TD runs measured 15, 37, 25, 45 and nine yards.

Will Latta added a 120 yards in kick-return yardage, including a 70-yarder for a TD. Priory's Malik Reid carried 12 times for 70 yards and scored one TD on a 38-yard run. He also had an interception at the goal line to end the first half.

Matt Schwab had 10 tackles to spark a defensive effort that stopped Trinity on its final drive in the final three minutes of the game. Tom Latta, a defensive end, batted a pass attempt and intercepted it to preserve the victory.

Priory will host Cornerstone Christian next Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Pinewood 50, Alma Heights 6

The Panthers (3-3) won their third straight game in eight-man action and now has outscored its past three opponents by a combined 136-12 heading into Friday's important home game against four-time defending league champion Anchorpoint Christian at 3:30 p.m.

The Panthers are 2-1 in the Mission Trail Athletic League (3-4 overall) and need to beat Anchorpoint to force a three-way tie for first place.

Dante Fraioli led the way on Saturday with 111 rushing yards on seven carries. He scored three times. Kai Kawashima added 110 yards on 22 carries with one TD.

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