The Menlo football team can’t say it’s just a fad. Scoring early and often is more like a trend.
The Knights scored three touchdowns in the first quarter en route to beating visiting Capuchino 41-29 in a Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division contest Saturday.
Menlo (3-0) has made a habit of taking a big lead early. In fact, the Knights has accumulated 60 of their 111 total points in the first quarter.
Scoring on their first possession has also become the Knights modus operandi and Saturday was no different.
Menlo opened with an onside kick and it worked. Carter Jung fielded the ball, setting up running back Tyler Flynn and quarterback Sergio Beltran. Flynn rushed for three consecutive first downs and Beltran scored from 15 yards.
Beltran enjoyed another big game, passing for three touchdowns and rushing for another. He completed 16 of 24 passes for 223 yards and rushed for 139 more.
Menlo didn’t wait long after that first touchdown to add another. Flynn not only stopped a Capuchino fourth-down play but also caused a turnover, recovered and returned it for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
The Mustangs scored to close within a touchdown. Menlo answered when junior Jack Giesler's tackle stripped the ball loose, Robby Enright recovered and ran 17 yards for a score.
Menlo scored twice after Cap converted a 29-yard field goal.
Menlo scored on a halfback option, with Beltran tossing to junior Will Murphy, who found Cort Halsey down the left side for a touchdown and Menlo took a 27-10 lead early in the second quarter.
With three minutes left in the half, senior Brady Kline recovered a fumble and the Knights took over at midfield. Two plays later, senior Chris d'Alençon hauled in a pass from Beltran for a 34-10 lead.
Capuchino struck twice to close the gap 34-23 by half then would add another in the third.
But Menlo stopped Capuchino there. An interception by senior Justin Creamer ended one Mustangs' drive in the red zone. Beltran took advantage, running for 53 yards and then finding dAlençon for the final score.
The Knights host San Mateo on Saturday afternoon.