By Andrew Preimesberger
Palo Alto Online Sports
Senior quarterback Kevin Donahoe threw for 210 yards and ran for a touchdown to lead Sacred Heart Prep to a 25-18 PAL Bay Division football win over visiting Aragon on Friday.
The Gators improved to 2-1 (6-1 overall) while Aragon fell to 1-2 (5-2 overall). The Gators have now outscored their opponents by a combined total of 218-47.
"We had a really good week at practice," said senior running back Ryan Gaertner. "Our O-line today put forth so much effort -- we didn't get stopped on any fourth downs today; it was pretty incredible."
Donahoe set the table early for the Gators with a 40-yard strike to senior tight end Derek Hunter to put Sacred Heart ahead 6-0 in the first quarter. The touchdown was the only catch Hunter had for the game.
Aragon struck back when senior running back J.D. Elzie led the drive off with a 40-yard run down the field to Sacred Heart's 40 yard-line. Three plays later, junior fullback Patrick Pauni ran for a two-yard touchdown, tying the game 6-6.
Elzie had 115 yards in the first half and totaled 152 yards and two touchdowns.
Sacred Heart junior Andrew Segre caught a 41-yard pass from Donahoe down to the Dons' one yard-line. Gaertner then dived in for the one-yard touchdown putting the Gators up 12-6 at the end of the first half.
The Gators' running game was clutch when senior Jack Del Santo ran for a four-yard touchdown with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter putting the Gators up 25-12; the run would be Del Santo's only touch of the day.
Elzie led his team back into the game with a five-yard touchdown run, cutting the deficit to 25-18 with 58.3 seconds left in the game.
The Dons tried an onside kick but it failed when senior defensive back Daniel Thaure came up with the loose ball -- sealing the win for the Gators. Thaure also led the Gators with 11 tackles, with Mike Covell adding eight.
The Gators totaled 387 yards in total offense -- 177 on the ground.
"We we're a little undersized," said Sacred Heart coach Pete Lavorato. "Our running backs fought hard today and we were able to execute."
The Gators are set to host division co-leader Menlo-Atherton next Saturday at 1 p.m.
Gunn 42, Los Altos 0
The Titans made the most of their homecoming with a big win agains visiting Los Altos in front of a packed home crowd.
Led by Sean Lydster's three touchdown runs and Andre Guzman's two touchdown passes to Tyrus Whitehead, the Titans scored early and often as they improved to 3-0 in SCVAL El Camino Division play and 5-2 overall.
The win keeps Gunn in a first-place tie in league play with Monta Vista with Fremont and Cupertino right behind at 2-1. The Titans will play all three teams in the final three weeks starting with Cupertino next Friday night on Senior night at 7 p.m.
"We played good football tonight," said Gunn coach Dan Navarro. "Our offensive line blocked well and we ran very well tonight."
The Titans got on the board quickly as Lydster scored on a two- yard run just two minutes into the game and Ben Sampson made the first of his six extra points to make the score 7-0. On their next possession Guzman connected on a nine-yard scored to Whitehead for a 14-0 Gunn advantage.
Early in the second quarter Lydster broke free on a 91-yard score to make it 21-0. He finished with eight carries for 178 yards.
If there was one negative on the night, it came on the next possession when Los Altos intercepted a Guzman pass -- his first interception this season.
However, Los Altos was unable to move the ball and gave it right back to Gunn. Marcos Moreno-Ramos rambled in from 22 yards out for a 28-0 lead and with two minutes to go in the second half, Guzman connected on his 13th touchdown pass of the season as he hit Whitehead from 18 yards out for a 35-0 halftime advantage.
The second half saw Gunn score the first time it touched the ball as Lydster ran for an 11-yard score with 8:06 left in the third and the referees immediately went to a running clock.
Gunn only had the ball one more time the rest of the night and almost scored again as Calvin Membreno had a 64-yard run that gave Gunn first-and-goal from the four with 10 minutes to go. Rather than go for the easy score, Gunn opted to take a knee on four consecutive plays and give the ball back to Los Altos.
Los Altos did not cross midfield until three minutes remained in the game, but that drive ended in the final minute on a fumble that was recovered by Genrikh Matevoysan. Throughout the night the Titans got strong line play from Aryeh Furman and solid defense from Forrest Larson and Dietrich Sweat. (--Tom Jacoubowsky/gunntitans.com)
Menlo School 57, at The King's Academy 23
Balancing the pass and run, Menlo School defeated The King's Academy in a PAL Ocean Division game Friday night in Sunnyvale.
The Knights (2-1, 6-1) got another 300-yard passing game and rolled up 116 rushing yards.
Junior Jack Heneghan completed 12 of 15 passes for 230 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another. Senior Matt Bradley had 5-of-6 completions for 70 yards and neither quarterback had an interception. A stalwart line, including center/guard Adam Yecies, who played the entire game, Chris Atkeson, Monty Newman, Sean Leahy and Sam Eckert.
"The offensive line did a good job on pass protection and getting a man up on blocks," Menlo coach Mark Newton said.
Heneghan and Bradley spread out the passes among five receivers, including seniors Max Parker, who had six catches for 96 yards and a touchdown, Travis Chambers (3-82 TD), Connor Stastny (3-62 TD), Connor Paterson (3-36 TD) and junior Will King (2-24).
Heru Peacock rolled up 84 yards on nine carries and had a touchdown.
The special teams corps had its moments as well -- Parker had his fifth kickoff return for a TD of the season. Already, Parker has tied Michael Justin of Hollywood (five in 1988) who is fourth among state leaders for most kickoff return touchdowns in a season. The state record is held by Sylmar's Joe Dickson, who had eight in 2003.
The defense came out of the second half rejuvenated and Menlo got key contributions from nose guard/defensive tackle Wyatt Rouser, who recovered a fumble in the end zone for the Knights' first score of the day, Yecies, Atkeson and Jack Ferguson. The Knights got through the line to make four sacks.
Menlo next faces Sequoia at home at 3 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26.(-- Pam McKenney/Menlo Sports Information)
Menlo-Atherton 31, at Half Moon Bay 14
Tasi Teu ran for touchdowns of three and 51 yards as the Bears won their fourth game and remained tied for first in the PAL Bay Division with a solid win at Half Moon Bay.
Teu carried 17 times for 139 yards. Alan Sakalia scored on a 45-yard run and Royce Branning connected with Zack Moore on a four-yard touchdown pass at M-A improved to 3-0 (5-2) heading into next Saturday's important game at Sacred Heart Prep.
The M-A defense came up with three sacks, three interceptions (Brian Jaggers, Spiro Papadakis and Teu) and one fumble recovery (Enzo Santos). Jaggers had 10 tackles and Isiah Nash added eight.