Pinewood holds on to take the gridiron battle of the Panthers


Junior quarterback Jaedan Bailey accounted for six touchdowns, leading Pinewood past visiting rival Woodside Priory, 58-52, in the Panther Bowl on Friday.

Woodside Priory finished its season at 1-3 (3-3 overall) while Pinewood went to 3-2 (6-2 overall). Pinewood outscored its opponents 448-278 for the season.

“I challenged them to give me four quarters,” said Pinewood coach Matt Irvin. “We went one at a time. They finally put a full game together. I told them if we put a full game together, we’re going to be a hard team to beat. They rose to the challenge and they did it for the four seniors today.”

Halfway through the first quarter, Priory junior running back Keyshawn Ashford went through the defense and sprinted 54 yards for the touchdown, making it a 6-0 game. Ashford had a tremendous game with 384 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns.

Pinewood answered on its next possession with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Bailey to Alex Dagman, tying the contest. Dagman had a solid game, finishing with 89 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.

In the second quarter, Bailey connected with Dagman again with a clutch 13-yard touchdown pass, putting Pinewood up 22-20 with 27 seconds left in the half.

“I think that got us going the rest of the game,” said Bailey. “Because we came out a little bit flat and going into half with the lead really helped us out and gave us the advantage going into the second.”

Priory made it a two-point game in the third quarter when quarterback Adrian LaValle hooked up with Muti Shuman on a 32-yard touchdown and the Panthers were down 42-40 going into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, LaValle found a wide-open receiver on a fourth-down play, but the recover could not hold on and Pinewood took over at its own one-yard line. Priory would’ve taken the lead had the wide receiver not dropped it.

“That scared me,” said Bailey. “I was the one guarding him, he’s very fast and we were fortunate.”

Bailey finished the scoring for Pinewood, going one-yard for a touchdown and a 58-46 lead with just over four minutes left in the game.

“A lot of good relationships with the cross-town rival here,” said Irvin. “They’re a great team. Priory is amazing and coach Doug is awesome and they are very well coached. He’s a class act and it’s always a good rivalry no matter where we’re at in the standings.”

PAL Ocean Division

Menlo quarterback Hayden Pegley threw four touchdown passes in the first half and the Knights rolled past Woodside, 45-35, Friday night to lay claim to a share of the league title, their first in 10 years.

“I’m incredibly proud of the boys and very happy for them,” Menlo coach Mark Newton said. “We talk about being consistent and finishing, and they did just that.”

Menlo (4-1, 8-1) shares the title with Half Moon Bay (4-1, 8-1), which beat South San Francisco, 35-25, on Friday.

The Knights meet Sacred Heart Prep in their rivalry game next Friday night in the Valparaiso Bowl at Woodside, a nonleague game, at 7 p.m.

The Gators (2-3, 2-7) knocked off host Terra Nova, 30-21, in a PAL Bay Division contest.

Menlo kicker Dylan Williams kicked a 41-yard field goal to put the Knights up early. Pegley and his receivers made sure to add to that lead.

Pegley had an outstanding night, completing 24 of 36 passes for 394 yards, four TDs, and no interceptions.

His main target was senior Evan King, who hauled in 14 passes for 244 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

King hauled in scoring tosses of 34 and five yards and junior Aidan Israelski picked up two receptions for TDs in a two-minute span to give Menlo a 31-7 halftime lead.

The Wildcats tried to rally in the second half after Marcelous Chester-Riley accounted for the team’s first scores, but the Knights had their own counter in senior Charlie Ferguson, who scored twice in the fourth and finished with 29 carries for 176 yards.

“We take a lot of pride in that we can stop offenses with a stifling defense, that we can put drives together and not just plays,” Pegley said. “As far as finishing, it could be in terms of fourth downs or in terms of ending league the right way.”

Along the way to their title run, the Knights had just one hiccup - a 36-27 loss to Half Moon Bay in which Menlo scored three late touchdowns to keep the threat alive.

“We had a great summer, but we knew going into league play that it was going to be incredibly difficult,” Newton said. “The guys keep getting better and better, and the assistant coaches have done a great job getting them prepared.”

For Sacred Heart Prep, Isoa Moimoi rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown, Tommy Barnds ran for 46 yards and caught a five-yard touchdown pass.

Brad Yaffe passed for 66 yards and rushed for 16, scoring twice.

David Peterson recorded nine tackles, Thomas Wine added eight tackles and Garrett Gavello returned an interception 52 yards.

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