Palo Alto, M-A win openers but Menlo School is eliminated


By Andrew Preimesberger

Palo Alto Online

Palo Alto and Menlo-Atherton won their respective Central Coast Section football playoff openers on Friday night, but Menlo School was eliminated following a 41-7 loss to No. 2-seeded Carmel (11-0) at Pacific Grove High.

Palo Alto (9-2), seeded No. 4 in the Open Division, opened defense of its title with a 20-6 victory over No. 5 Leland (9-2) on a rainy night in Palo Alto. Senior wideout B.J. Boyd caught two touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Keller Chryst to lead the Vikings. Dre Hill added a one-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and finished with 127 yards on 25 carries.

Chryst overcame four interceptions in the first half while dealing with a slippery ball. He was more solid in the second half with his two TD passes, winding up with 169 passing yards while the Paly defense did a standout job by blanking a Leland offense that had been averaging nearly 38 points a game.

Paly will face No. 8 St. Francis (6-5) in the semifinals next Saturday at San Jose City College at 7 p.m. The Lancers upset No. 1 Oak Grove, 20-17, on Friday. In the other semifinal, No. 2 Bellarmine will face No. 6 Mitty on Friday, also at SJCC at 7 p.m.

Menlo-Atherton (8-3), seeded No. 2 in Division I, romped past No. 7 Santa Clara (8-3) by a 40-22 count.

Senior running backs Cameron Moody and Taylor Mashack ran for a combined 156 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Bears.

The win moves M-A to a semifinal matchup with No. 6 Salinas (7-4), which held off No. 3 Homestead, 27-26, on Friday. The Bears will host on Friday at 1 p.m..

M-A came right out of the gate - on its first drive senior quarterback Willy Fonua threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Dustin Nasciemento to take the immediate 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Bears' rushing started to take over in the first half as Moody and Mashack ran for three touchdowns and 57 yards combined.

The Bears scored quickly throughout the first as they took a 30-0 lead into halftime.

Moody carried the offense as he ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns. In the third quarter he ran for a 34-yard touchdown to seal the win.

Fonua was effective in the air as he threw for 152 yards on 7 of 11 passes.

The Bruins couldn't stop the Bears' offense, which produced 361 yards and seven touchdowns. Menlo-Atherton also took advantage of six Santa Clara turnovers -- two being interceptions by M-A safety Austin Clarence, who also had four tackles to lead a quality defense.

Santa Clara senior wide receiver Kingsley Okakpu had a solid game and led all receivers with 125 yards and a touchdown.

"We ran well and everyone ran hard," said M-A coach Sione Taufoou. "The O-line did a good job getting off the ball and we pulled it out.

"(But) We gotta pick it up. We gotta pick up the tempo for next week."

At Pacific Grove High, Menlo School saw its season end in a big loss to unbeaten Carmel (11-0) in the opening round of the CCS Division IV playoffs.

The No. 7-seeded Knights (7-4) gave up 225 rushing yards to Carmel's Devin Pearson, who also threw for 114 more. Menlo sophomore Jack Heneghan threw for 210 yards on 16-of-36 completions and one touchdown, 22 yards to Chris Reed. Connor Statsny had seven catches for 90 yards for Menlo, which fell behind by 34-0.



First round

Palo Alto 20, Leland 6

St. Francis 20, Oak Grove 17

Bellarmine 56, Terra Nova 12

Mitty 36, San Benito 0


Friday, Nov. 25

Bellarmine vs. Mitty at San Jose City College, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 26

Palo Alto vs. St. Francis at San Jose City College, 7 p.m.


First round

Menlo-Atherton 40, Santa Clara 22

Salinas 27, Homestead 26

Milpitas 42, Mountain View 33


Serra 38, Wilcox 6


==Friday, Nov. 26==

Salinas (7-4) at Menlo-Atherton (8-3), 1 p.m.


First round

South San Francisco 31, Willow Glen 23

Pioneer 25, El Camino 0

Los Gatos 62, Leigh 14


Aragon 30, Sobrato 17


First round

St. Ignatius 35, Aptos 31

Sacred Heart Cathedral 37, Monterey 14

Christopher 55, Del Mar 0


Valley Christian 35, Burlingame 21


First round

Friday (All games 7 p.m.)

Palma 35, Soledad 0

Carmel 42, Menlo School 7

Monte Vista Christian 38, Half Moon Bay 11


Sacred Heart Prep 27, Scotts Valley 20


Friday, Nov. 26

Sacred Heart Prep (8-3) vs. Palma (9-1-1) at Salinas Sports Complex, 7 p.m.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by John Furrier
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 19, 2011 at 7:38 am

Palo Alto played flat in the first half but came out strong in the second half by good accuracy by Paly QB Keller Chryst. Chryst was playing in his first CCS playoff game at Paly. Chryst really showed strong poise in the second half after having a hard time with the slippery ball.

Paly defense stepped up when it had to with big stops and Leland QB just couldn't get the ball to his receivers all night.

Like this comment
Posted by Member
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 19, 2011 at 9:17 am

Prediction; you will see that our school-sponsored t-shirts really are true, "SHP: God's Gift To Football." If no, then the system is broken.

Like this comment
Posted by Central P
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Good luck MA Bears! Great job last night!

At the younger level, the 32 club Peninsula Pop Warner Conference is playing this weekend and next.

Congrats to Menlo Atherton Pop Warner, whose Jr PeeWee's won today against the Sparks, Nevada Cardinals, 27-0.

Good luck tomorrow to Coach Steve Stenstrom's MA Pop Warner Vikings PeeWee team as they continue their march towards a national Pop Warner crown. Game time is 1pm in Santa Clara in the semi-final Pacific Northwest Region semifinal.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Peek inside the fine-dining Selby's, opening in Redwood City this summer
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 4,598 views

If you do nothing else, do These Three Things
By Sherry Listgarten | 16 comments | 1,638 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 7 comments | 1,313 views

Premarital and Couples: "You're Not Listening to Me!" may mean "I don't feel heard."
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,210 views

Finding Balance
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 155 views


Vote now!

It's time once again to cast your vote for the best places to eat, drink, shop and spend time in Palo Alto. Voting is open now through May 27. Watch for the results of our 2019 Best Of contest on Friday, July 19.