Senior cornerback/wide receiver Jack Marren accounted for three touchdowns, including an interception for a score, to give the Knights a 28-20 PAL Bay Division football victory over crosstown rival Menlo-Atherton on Friday afternoon.
Menlo improved to 1-1 (4-3 overall) in its homecoming game while the Bears fell to 1-2 (2-5 overall). The Knights now have won two of their past three games.
"Our defense was awesome today led by Todd Smith," said Menlo head coach Mark Newton. "There are some things we need to clean up on both sides of the ball, but they did their assignments and just went after it -- they didn't play cautiously."
With 45 seconds left in the third quarter, Marren picked off Bears junior quarterback Robby Beardsley and ran it back 26 yards for a touchdown giving the Knights the go-ahead score.
"I took a three-step drop, saw that he was coming, and went under it," said Marren. "I really have to attribute it to my D-line. They gave the quarterback pressure all game and their pressure led to that pick."
The Bears got on the board early in the first quarter when senior Ondre Mitchell III plowed his way through for a four-yard touchdown and gave his team the 7-0 advantage. Marren tied it up with a seven-yard run.
The Knights moved out to a 14-7 lead in the second quarter when sophomore running back Charlie Ferguson juked his way to the outside corner for a six-yard touchdown.
M-A answered back when junior running back Maua Te'o ran in for a three-yard touchdown and tying the game at 14. Te'o and sophomore running back Jordan Mims combined for 162 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
Mims was brought up from junior varsity last week when M-A beat Sequoia, 21-14, and the sophomore finished with 175 yards. Mims was limited to 104 yards on 22 carries on Friday. Meanwhile, Charlie Roth led Menlo with 102 on 12 carries.
Menlo senior quarterback Austin D'ambra connected with Marren with a dump pass that led to a 69-yard touchdown and gave the Knights a 21-14 lead in the second quarter. D'ambra had a solid afternoon and finished 10 of 13 for182 yards.
On their next possession, the Bears scored on a 28-yard run by Te'o as he broke through the line and ran untouched for a 21-20 lead for the Knights going into halftime as the extra-point attempt was blocked.
The Menlo-Atherton running game went ice cold in the second half. The Bears could only rack in 12 yards on the ground and zero touchdowns because of a stout second-half Knights defense.
"We told them (at halftime) that the schemes are there for what they're running, we just need to be sound with our gap responsibility," Newton explained. "We just cleaned up those mistakes and did a great job in the second half."
On a fourth-and-15 late in the fourth quarter, M-A was on Menlo's 23-yard line and had a chance to tie the game. But, pressure by Menlo forced Beardsley to throw an incompletion through the end zone and the Knights had their homecoming win.
Menlo will visit Terra Nova on Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.
Sacred Heart Prep 34, Sequoia 14
The Gators maintained their hold on first place in the PAL Bay Division by churning out 329 rushing yards in a solid victory over the host Cherokees on Friday at Terremere Field.
Riley Tinsley led the way with 126 yards on 11 carries as SHP dominated with 50 rushing plays.
Sacred Heart Prep (2-0, 7-0) spread its offense around well with nine players carrying the ball. Ben Burr-Kirven added 58 yards on 11 carries, which included a six-yard scoring run in the second quarter as the Gators grabbed a 21-7 halftime lead.
Griffin Kraemer added 50 rushing yards, J.R. Hardy had 45, including a three-yard scoring run, and Lapitu Mahoni had a five-yard TD run among his 43 rushing yards.
SHP quarterback Mason Randall completed just one pass in five attempts, but it went for a 25-yard touchdown to Andrew Daschbach in the fourth quarter.
The Gators' defense was just as efficient as it limited Sequoia to 226 total yards, 114 on the ground. John Van Sweden had an interception for SHP, Andrew Robinson had eight tackles and Conner Cody and Zane El Safy had sacks.
Next up for SHP is a home game against Menlo-Atherton on Oct. 31 at 3 p.m.
Los Gatos 49, Palo Alto 7
Palo Alto's postseason hopes took yet another hit as the Vikings dropped a lopsided decision to host Los Gatos in SCVAL De Anza Division action Friday night. Paly fell to 1-2 in league (2-5 overall) despite knotting the game at 7 in the first quarter.
Homestead 42, Gunn 7
Noah Riley fired an 80-yard touchdown pass to fellow senior Guy Kasnick in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late for the Titans (0-3, 0-7) as they dropped a lopsided decision to the SCVAL El Camino Division-leading Mustangs.