Palo Alto Knights' Pee Wees will play for third place


Mike Piha has made seven trips with a Palo Alto Knights' football team to the national championships in Orlando, Fla. Piha had hoped his latest excursion would provide the program's first national title. Unfortunately for Piha and his players on the Palo Alto Pee Wee team, it won't.

Despite hold a 16-6 lead to open the fourth quarter, the Knights dropped a 30-16 decision to the Phoenix Thunder on Tuesday at the American Youth Football (AYF) National Championships.

The Knights, seeded fifth, will play the No. 2-seeded Mesa Soldiers for third place on Thursday morning.

Palo Alto held the Thunder's top running back to just 30 yards rushing through three quarters before Phoenix blew the game open in the final period. Phoenix got a 60-yard kickoff return for a TD plus a 60-yard pass play and and a 40-yard interception return while scoring 24 unanswered points.

The Knights lost their top running back, Ethan Stern, to an injury in the second quarter and failed to stop the Thunder after three turnovers.

Palo Alto's Unlimited (ninth grade) team, meanwhile, will play in the semifinals on Wednesday afternoon after producing a 12-6 victory over Boston on Monday.

The Knights advanced behind standout offensive performances from running backs Maua Teo and Christian Rodriguez plus quarterback Robbie Beardsley. Teo had 76 rushing yards and one touchdown while Rodriguez added 88 yards rushing. Beardsley had 167 yards passing.

With the game tied, 6-6, in the fourth quarter, Beardsley hit wide receiver Malcolm Gate on back-to-back first-down tosses and eventually got the winning score with a 50-yard pass to Skylar Taulapapa.

The Knights' defense got big efforts from middle linebacker Alex Alipate and safety Willie Teo-Clifton in addition to a strong pass rush from linemen James Cohee and Alan Pohahau.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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Like this comment
Posted by Lea Lautalo
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 7, 2011 at 11:51 am

These teams came a long way and they have shown their talents with flying colors. May the Lord continue to be with them and lead them to safety. GO KNIGHTS.

Like this comment
Posted by Youth Football Fan
a resident of Woodside
on Dec 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Several outstanding youth football teams in the area this year...

Both the RC 49ers and the Menlo Atherton Vikings participated in the Pop Warner SuperBowl at the fantastic ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in DisneyWorld - Web Link

A blog post based on interviews at the ESPN Complex with Menlo's coaching staff, led by Stanford's own Steve Stenstrom and a staff with a combined 20+ years of NFL experience can be found here: Web Link

ESPN3 Replays of Pop Warner games:

Replay's of Menlo's games on ESPN3 against College Station, Texas, including the thrilling last second play, can be found here: Web Link

Multigame replay that includes Menlo's 30-6 romp over Mt Hope is here: Web Link

Congrats to all the strong youth football programs in the area - PA Knights, RC 49ers and the Menlo Atherton Vikings.

Like this comment
Posted by Handy
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Good stuff, good links.

Good luck to all these champion football clubs!

Like this comment
Posted by Handy
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 8, 2011 at 8:28 am

I saw the games at the links for Redwood and Menlo Atherton. Super cool video and announcing, replays and highlights. Awesome facility and video - just like televised college games!

Couldn't find the knights on ESPN3 - anyone have the correct links for ESPN knight games?

Go Knights! Good luck to the unlimiteds!

Like this comment
Posted by Correction Needed
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Name correction needed:
"Beardsley hit wide receiver Malcolm Gate"

The WR's name is Malcolm Gates, not "Gate". He's first cousin to Palo Alto High School's three "Gates-Mouton" brothers. Who I might add, were all former Palo Alto Knights players under Mike Piha's great coaching direction as well. All three of the Gates-Mouton boys went and represented in Florida with Mike Piha as well.

The Knights is a fantastic organizatin and Mike Piha is the best club coach ever! Get ready Paly... He comes another set of Knights players, including Malcolm Gates.

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

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