Menlo School football quarterback Hayden Pegley considers two-way lineman JH Tevis as much a part of the offense as any of his wide receivers or running backs. That's because opposing teams have to account for him on every play.
“He's a weapon as an offensive guard,” Pegley said. “Teams run blitzes opposite of him otherwise he's liable to clear out a whole side. Everybody talks about his sacks and where he ranks in the nation but he pulls so well and has the speed of a defensive end. He's huge for us.”
When Tevis wasn't busy helping busy helping the Knights race up and down the field in a 39-7 victory over The King's Academy on Friday, he was busy keeping the other Knights out of the end zone and taking the ball away from them.
The win puts third-seeded Menlo (10-1) into the semifinals of the Central Coast Section Division V playoffs against host No. 2 Seaside (10-1) Friday at 7 p.m.
“He can play, literally, any position,” Menlo coach Mark Newton said. “He's a captain as a junior, the first time a junior has been captain since I've been here. We moved him to offensive guard at the beginning of the season. He wanted to play H-back, but he's a team-first guy. It all starts with him on the O- and D-line.”
Menlo opened the game by recovering a TKA fumble on the first play from scrimmage, setting up the first of three Pegley touchdown passes, an eight-yard toss to Aidan Israelski, who caught five passes for 53 yards. Ty Corley came up with the loose ball.
The King's Academy took the ensuing kickoff and marched 80 yards in 17 plays, consuming 11 minutes, to tie the score.
TKA never came close to scoring again. Tevis, fellow defensive end Cooper Stewart and defensive back Landon Smith, among others, made sure of it.
Menlo went ahead to stay when Dylan Williams nailed a 33-yard field. He added a 40-yarder later in the contest.
“I think we’re consistent and finishing, like coach says, everyone is doing their job, and has gone above and beyond. We have something special with this team,” Williams said. “We’re all united, and I really think it does show on the field. Special teams, defense offense and on the sidelines. … We have the heart, the excitement and the hunger - it’s awesome.”
Evan King, who caught seven passes for 179 yards, several of the highlight-reel kind, grabbed a 25-yard scoring toss from Pegley and Jack McNally was on the receiving end of a three-yard scoring pass.
Charlie Ferguson rushed for 92 yards and scored twice for the Knights. Pegley finished with 260 yards on 16-of-26 passes.
Menlo was called for a pair of penalties and did not turn the ball over.
“We like that,” Newton said. “We've been sound on defense all year and had great ball control on offense. The boys are getting it done.”