After experiencing the heady euphoria of a blowout win over Bellarmine in the first week of the season, the Menlo-Atherton football team was brought down to earth Friday night, in the form of a 38-13 loss to Serra at Levi’s Stadium.
The Padres dominated this one from start to finish. The yardage totals weren’t as one-sided as the score (362 total yards for Serra, 307 for M-A). But mistakes in the form of penalties and turnovers and a lack of execution prevented the Bears (1-1) from making a game out of it.
In the second half they drove to the Serra 2 and then to the Serra 1 without scoring either time.
“We got inside the 5 twice without scoring,’’ M-A coach Steve Papin said. “This loss is on me. I didn’t have them ready to play.’’
Serra (2-0), on the other hand, was very adept at turning opportunities into points. Nate Sanchez, a running back who frequently lined up as a flanker, scored all five Serra touchdowns. He only carried six times but scored three rushing touchdowns and two of his three receptions also went for scores.
Serra led 3-0 after one quarter, but broke it open with three second-quarter touchdowns.
Sanchez scored his first touchdown on a 6-yard pass from Daylin McLemore. A fumble recovery two plays later gave Serra the ball on the M-A 25 and Sanchez scored shortly after on a 9-yard run to make it 17-0.
The Bears struck back quickly with the all-sophomore passing combination of Matt MacLeod to Jalen Moss. They connected on a 44-yard pass and then a 39-yard touchdown to get M-A on the scoreboard.
Justin Anderson made an acrobatic interception two plays later to give the Bears the ball and the opportunity to seize momentum, But three straight false-start penalties made it first and 25 and three plays later MacLeod was intercepted.
Serra immediately cashed in, going 49 yards in three plays for a touchdown on a 43-yard pass from McLemore to Sanchez, and it was 24-6 at halftime.
Serra added on two second-half touchdowns before Anderson scored on a 5-yard with 1:09 left to close out the scoring.
“This was definitely a wake-up call,’’ Anderson said. “We went through the motions this week. If we want to play better it starts in practice.’’
M-A heads to Utah next to play East High of Salt Lake City.
“We’re not going to dwell on it,’’ Papin said. “This team was (2-2) last year and went on to win state. We’ve got the opportunity to get better playing high-quality teams.’’