By Andrew Preimesberger
Palo Alto Online Sports
Senior running back Morris Gates-Mouton ran for 149 yards and three touchdowns to power Palo Alto to a commanding 46-14 SCVAL De Anza Division win over visiting Mountain View Friday night as the Vikings celebrated homecoming in a big way.
The victory keep Palo Alto (4-1, 6-2) tied for first place with Milpitas (4-1, 7-1) while Mountain View fell to 3-2 in the division. The Vikings can win the outright title by winning its next two games, including a regular-season final at Milpitas.
Morris Gates-Mouton set the table early for the Vikings with a 63-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game to put Paly up 7-0. By the end of the first half Gates-Mouton already racked up 81 yards and two touchdowns to seal the win.
Paly sophomore quarterback Keller Chryst was an efficient 10-of-12 for 253 yards and four touchdowns, giving him eight TD passes in the past two games. Senior wideout B.J. Boyd caught three passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns. He had TD catches of 63, 58 and 17 yards. Chryst also hooked up with Ozzie Braff for a 17-yard score.
Boyd now has scored 17 touchdowns this season.
Paly led 20-7 after one quarter and 32-7 at halftime, effectively removing any doubt to the outcome at that point. Paly's defense held the Spartans to 227 yards in another solid effort.
The Mountain View defense was ineffective as it gave up a total of 470 yards and seven touchdowns.
Mountain View running back Marcus Jones ran for 76 yards and caught for five for 57 yards, but turnovers we're costly for the offense as the Spartans turned the ball over five times. Mountain View wasn't able to convert a total of four times while it was in the Vikings' territory.
Palo Alto is set to play visiting Los Altos in a league matchup next week. The Eagles suffered a 63-0 loss to Los Gatos on Friday.
"We need to come out like we did this game," said Boyd. "Just take over."
At Aragon 30, Menlo School 7
The visiting Knights saw their title hopes and Central Coast Section playoff hopes take a hit in a disappointing loss to the Dons on Friday night in PAL Ocean Division action.
Menlo (1-3, 5-3 overall) was coming off a 42-28 victory over Sequoia last week but couldn't ride the momentum against Aragon (3-1, 7-1), which rolled behind a tough running back tandem and secondary. Aragon held a 7-0 lead at halftime before a fourth-quarter charge put the game out of reach.
After an Aragon touchdown early in the second quarter, the Knights' defense held the Dons for the rest of the half. Also in the second quarter, junior lineman Wyatt Rouser recovered a Menlo fumble then turned it into an 11-yard gain. Menlo didn't convert then, but would score in the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback Jack Heneghan found senior receiver Chris Reed twice for 22-yard passes to set up senior Dylan Mayer's 2-yard TD run with 8:28 left in the game.
Heneghan finished with 312 passing yards, surpassing 300 for the second conseuctive week. Max Parker had five receptions for 100 yards while Connor Stastny and Chris Reed each had four receptions while combining for 169 yards. By contrast, Aragon's game was solely on the ground as the Dons outgained Menlo, 296-7. It was the Knights' poorest rushing effort of the season.
Menlo squares off against visiting Woodside in a league matchup at 2:45 p.m. Friday.
Monta Vista 49, Gunn 28
Gunn had high hopes for a homecoming victory over Monta Vista on Friday night, but it wasn't to be as the visiting Matadors rolled to a decisive victory in SCVAL El Camino Division action.
The Titans (2-2, 2-5) got their usual outstanding game from senior JJ Strnad, who tallied three touchdowns, but a couple of key plays where the ball didn't bounce their way spelled the difference.
The game started out in strong fashion for Gunn as the Robert Kato recovered a fumble at Monta Vista's 48-yard line and took just five plays as Strnad scored from 13 yards out to put Gunn up 7-0 with 9:31 left in the first quarter.
Monta Vista, though, answered right back with two touchdowns to take a 14-7 lead midway in the second quarter. Gunn came back on a 58-yard scoring pass from Andre Guzman to Skyler Larson with 5:50 left in the half to make the score 14-13.
With Gunn trailing 21-13, Strnad broke free for a 60-yard touchdown run but it was called back on a chop-block penalty.
After Monta Vista scored first in the second half, Gunn got a five- yard touchdown run and two-point conversion to close its deficit to 28-21 with 4:49 left. The Titans appeared to have momentum when they forced Monta Vista to punt. But, after taking over at its own 40, Gunn lost a fumble. The Matadors scored three straight touchdowns in six minutes to take a 49-21 lead.
Gunn got its final score of the night when Jessie Grimes blocked a Monta Vista punt to set up an eight-yard touchdown run by Strnad to close out the scoring.
Gunn will close out its home season next Friday night on Senior Night as the Titans host Fremont at 7:30 p.m.
Pinewood 56, Anchorpoint Christian 6
The Panthers earned a three-way share of the Mission Trails Athletic League title with a surprisingly easy drubbing of the four-time defending league champion.
Dante Fraioli led the Panthers by rushing for more than 166 yards and scoring five touchdowns, while adding 21 tackles on defense. Teammates Kevin Sweat and Greg Naumann added interceptions as Pinewood finished 3-1 in league.
Priory 52, Cornerstone Christian 0
Quarterback Will Latta set a school record with three touchdown passes to pace the Panthers (4-4) to a lopsided victory on Friday. Latta finished with 116 passing yards on four of five completions. James McDaniel had seven carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns in the eight-man game while Malik Reid added a 54-yard punt return for a TD. McDaniel also had two catches for 78 yards including a TD while Matt Schwab paced the defense with 14 tackles.
Priory will host Pinewood in a season finale on Friday at 3:30 p.m.