Sports

Ferguson's five touchdowns help Menlo stay undefeated

 

The Menlo School football team remained undefeated with Friday night's 43-0 nonleague victory over host Carlmont, fueled by Charlie Ferguson's five touchdowns and another outstanding defensive outing.

The Knights (4-0) have a bye before playing host to Half Moon Bay in their Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division opener Sept. 30.

"We talk a lot about consistency and finishing as a team," Ferguson said. "We wanted to finish our preseason with a good game and be assignment perfect as Coach Newton talks about, and just do the little things right. Going into Half Moon Bay, we're excited. We're just going to try to keep balanced on offense and go all out on defense, and be ready to go."

From the outset, Ferguson broke free. On the Knights' second play of the game, the senior back ran for 23 yards, then after Hayden Pegley connected with Evan King on a 25-yard pass, Ferguson ran in from 11 yards for a 7-0 lead.

The Knights' passing game played a big part in several of its drives. After the defense held the Scots, forcing a punt, Aidan Israelski hauled in a 23-yard pass from Pegley. Ferguson scored his second TD on a 9-yard run before Jack McNally found King for the 2-point conversion.

"We knew that we were going to need to line up really quickly on defense and be assignment perfect, and we did that," Menlo coach Mark Newton said. "We were making them stretch horizontally and guys were coming up and making plays, so that was great. Offensively, we were able to exercise our pass game, and continue to work -- because we know what we have in Charlie -- so we were able to do that and spread ourselves out a little, and we were able to do that."

Before halftime, Ferguson would score again on a 37-yard run, and, with two seconds left, the Knights capped the half when Israelski made a great read for an interception, and then, after getting a lead block from Julian Garcia-Mendez, staked the Knights to a 29-0 advantage.

"They ran the play earlier, and I tipped it then.” Israelski said. “I was expecting them to go deep, but he was there and he tipped it and it was basically a catch and run from there."

Every time Ferguson touched the ball it seemed there would be another burst through Carlmont’s ill-equipped defensive line. Carlmont had no answer for Menlo’s punishing rushing attack.

"We definitely have some areas for improvement, but I'm really happy with the solid line and the running game that we have accomplished with a great running back," Israelski said."The entire line really sets the tone with junior JH Tevis."

The Knights mixed up the plays and used the clock to march down the field, picking up another score when Ferguson ran it in from 14 yards on the first possession out of halftime.

"We have a young team and that's part of the reason for the non-league schedule. They did everything they were supposed to do with it, and I'm proud of that," Newton said. "We've improved a great deal, and we've gotten some guys some confidence, especially those who haven't played varsity - we have 10 guys on the roster who had varsity experience.

"The PAL Ocean is a very tough league, and we know every game is going to be difficult. Now we just have to keep it going."

— Patrick Condon and Pam McKenney

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