Priory keeps its state-leading winning streak intact, 34-24


The spotlight is still on the Priory football team, which won its state-leading 20th consecutive game, 34-24 over visiting Anzar of San Juan Bautista on Friday in Portola Valley.

The Panthers improved to 4-0 in Mission Trail Athletic League eight-man action while the Hawks fell to 1-2 (1-4 overall). Priory has now outscored its opponents, 152-108, in its first four games.

"I knew that team was going to bring it, especially with that streak hanging over our head," said Panthers head coach Doug Sargent. "It's such a young team and, for them to step up and play like that defensively, I haven't seen a performance like that in the six years we've been going."

With just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter and Priory leading 28-24, Michael Zhao and the Panthers' defense came up with a huge stop on their own 18-yard line and forced Anzar to turn the ball over.

"We just play assignment football," said Zhao. "Everybody is doing their job and I was just in the right spot."

The Panthers led off their drive in the first quarter with a 51-yard touchdown pass from senior Max Reines to junior Scott Harris giving their team the 8-0 early lead. Reines threw for 198 yards and accounted for four touchdowns.

Anzar took the lead late in the quarter when Adam Banuelos ran in for a three-yard touchdown making it a 16-14 Hawks' lead. Banuelos accounted for two touchdowns for Anzar.

Reines hooked up with Harris again in the first quarter, this time for 70 yards and a touchdown giving Priory a 22-16 lead. Harris finished with a game-high 166 yards and three touchdowns on just four receptions.

"We planned on that so it could open up the run," said Sargent. "We surprised them early with Scott Harris."

The 6-foot-5 Harris, whose main sport is basketball, played both ways and stood out as he towered above his opponents. He came up with a big sack in the first half in addition to hitting the Anzar QB just as he released, causing an interception by Reines that ended an Anzar drive just before halftime.

In the fourth quarter, Hawks running back Angel Jimenez ran in for a three-yard touchdown trimming the Priory lead to 28-24 with 10:05 left to play.

Priory freshman Keyshawn Ashford juked defenders and ran in for a nine-yard touchdown with 3:34 left in the game, sealing the win.

"We've been waiting for something," said Sargent. "He's got the ability, when they overplay the outside he takes one step -– they finally overplayed it and he got one and he was due for it."

The Panthers will try to keep the streak going when they take on Stuart Hall on Oct. 25 on Treasure Island in San Francisco.

Burlingame 35, Menlo-Atherton 14

Sophomore running back Stavro Papadakis rushed 28 times for 158 rushing yards and a one-yard scoring run, but it wasn't enough for Menlo-Atherton as the host Bears opened their PAL Bay Division football season with a 35-14 loss to Burlingame on Friday night. M-A fell to 1-4 overall.

Burlingame's Griffin Intrieri took the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown as the Panthers (1-0, 5-0) grabbed a quick lead and never looked back. The Bears trailed by 21-0 before cutting the deficit to 21-14 in the third period on a one-yard scoring run by quarterback Robby Beardsley.

Burlingame, however, answered that TD and two of its own while sending the Bears to defeat.

Menlo School, Gunn, Palo Alto and Sacred Heart Prep all had byes on Friday.

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