After losing to Carmel twice last season in convincing fashion, the outlook to end that losing streak didn't look all that good for Menlo on Saturday night. The Knights, however, bounced back from a disappointing season-opening loss a week earlier to upend the Padres at Woodside High.
The last time Menlo met Carmel was nine months ago in the Central Coast Section Division IV championship game. The Knights were soundly beaten. But, with a new year came a decidedly new result.
Jordan Williams put the finishing touch on an exceptional game for both he and the Knights (1-1) by scoring the winning touchdown with 11 seconds left to snap Carmel's 13-game winning streak that started last season.
"It's a tribute to the kids and how hard they practiced," said Menlo coach Mark Newton. "After a difficult loss (13-9 to Hillsdale), to come back and beat the defending CCS champs . . . I'm proud of the kids."
After a 22-yard field goal with 3:46 left to play gave the Padres (1-1) a 29-28 lead, Menlo put together a 13-play drive that culminated with quarterback Robert Wickers throwing an 11-yard pass to Williams for the winning score, his second TD of the game. Williams also picked off two passes to end potential scoring threats.
"Jordan had a fantastic game," Newton said. "We needed seniors to step up and make great plays at different points in the game, and that's what he did."
Sacred Heart Prep 56, Riordan 26
The Gators (2-0) got a sensational performance from running backs Colin Terndrup, Tyler McCool and Pedro Robinson as the trio combined for 442 yards of total offense and five touchdowns to lead SHP to a rousing thumping of the visiting Crusaders of the West Catholic Athletic League.
Terndrup led the way with 183 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 14 carries, including a 76-yard run in the third quarter that more than doubled his total for the first half. Robinson finished with 104 yards and a score on just seven rushes while McCool finished with 96 yards on eight carries, including a 67-yard TD run on the Gators' second play from scrimmage.
McCool also caught a 70-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback John Geary in the second quarter. Geary added another scoring pass, a 17-yarder to senior tight end Bryan Munks, just before halftime. Geary finished 5-of-9 for 116 yards.
SHP sophomore running back/defensive back Ryan Gaertner rushed for his team's final touchdown on offense and had an interception on defense. SHP got its other TD on special teams in the second quarter when linebacker Hunter Shaw blocked a punt and junior Fatu Tupou recovered the ball in the end zone.
Los Gatos 35, Menlo-Atherton 3
Senior Michael Culhane wasn't supposed to be M-A's starting quarterback on Saturday. That honor had belonged to junior Willy Fonua, until he sustained a concussion in last week's opening loss to Wilcox.
Culhane, who moved to wide receiver about a week before the curtain was raised on the season, was Fonua's favorite receiver. Because of Fonua's injury, Culhane was moved back to quarterback. The move didn't work as the Bears dropped a nonleague decision to visiting Los Gatos.
"I saw a lot of positives last week but this week we couldn't get things together," said Culhane, who completed a pair of passes for 36 yards and caught two passes for 37 yards. "We kind of came back and struggled. We need to change the way we practice."
There likely will be another quarterback competition this week as senior Jonathan Hoech took over for most of the second half and found some success in throwing to Culhane.
"Whatever is needed is fine by me," Culhane said. "It was frustrating more than anything. But if they need me, I'll do it."
Culhane led the Bears on their lone scoring drive, which resulted in Sam Falkenhagen's 35-yard field goal with 3:53 left in the first quarter.
Menlo-Atherton was held to 70 total yards in the second half. Cameron Moody led the Bears with 45 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Priory 54 Alma Heights 28
The Priory opened its eight-man season with a lopsided victory over Alma Heights on Saturday in Portola Valley. James McDaniel paced the Panthers by rushing 18 times for 185 yards. He scored four touchdowns, three running and one receiving while accounting for 296 all-purpose yards.
Priory ran for 305 yards with Alex Brugger gaining 36 on five carries while scoring two touchdowns. David Beleson added 50 yards rushing on 12 carries with one TD while throwing for 79 yards and two scores. Malik Reid added 36 rushing yards and 93 return yards on two kickoffs and one punt return.
On defense, the Panthers got six tackles and a fumble recovery from Andy Dolezalek while Kellan Draeger had five tackles and a sack with Marcus Talbott registering six tackles and a sack.
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