By Andrew Preimesberger
Palo Alto Online Sports
Senior quarterback Travis McHugh rushed for 208 yards on 20 carries and accounted for four touchdowns to lead Bellarmine to a convincing 41-13 victory over No. 4 Palo Alto in the Central Coast Section Open Division football championship game on Friday night at San Jose City College.
The win improved the No. 2 Bells to 12-1 and likely clinched a berth in the CIF Division I state bowl game while Paly finished its season at 10-3.
McHugh did it all -- running, throwing and even kicking as he had a hand in 29 of the Bells' 41 points.
The Paly defense had no answer for the Bell's tough option offense as it gave up a total of 402 yards -- 334 on the ground.
The first quarter started out with a bang from both teams. McHugh began the Bells' fourth possession with a 54-yard touchdown run. On the ensuing kickoff, senior wide receiver and returner B.J. Boyd ran back a 98-yard touchdown to briefly put the Vikings up 7-6 after the first.
The second quarter belonged to the Bells as they scored 21 unanswered points. Paly committed two big face-mask penalties on back-to-back scoring drives, one ending in a 19-yard run by McHugh and the other on a 12-yard scoring toss by the senior quarterback. That gave Bellarmine a comfortable 27-7 lead at halftime. McHugh ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone.
Bellarmine running back Tim Crawley also was effective on the ground as he rushed for 90 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown.
Paly sophomore quarterback Keller Chryst went just 6 for 23 with 119 yards - though seven of the incompletions were in the hands of his receivers before being dropped.
The Vikings' leading rusher this season, senior Dre Hill, was quiet all night as he ran for just five yards on four carries.
"I'm very proud of them; they did a great job," said Paly coach Earl Hansen. "10 wins? I'll take 10 wins."