Football (4-0) secures division title on school record-breaking day
10.22.2021 On a day when school records fell and the Menlo football team improved to 8-0 overall, the Knights made sure everyone was covered from the opening kickoff through to setting aside food for those late to the post-game meal.
“It’s everywhere where we complement each other: on the practice field, in games - it’s our players, our coaching staff, it’s our relationships, ” Coach Todd Smith said. “It’s way past just game day.”
On game day Friday, Menlo came together to defeat host Capuchino 42-0 to run its record to 4-0, and secured the Peninsula Athletic League-Ocean title with one game remaining.
Menlo senior quarterback Sergio Beltran set a school record with 40 passing touchdowns in regular season (previous record of 37 held by John Paye in 1982 and Jack Heneghan in 2013). He is one away from the CCS mark set in 1989.
Beltran also surpassed 2,000 passing yards on his first pass of the day - 22 yards to Carter Jung to set up the Knights’ first touchdown. Beltran found senior Jack Giesler for a 9-yard score.
“A lot of that comes from the receivers and O-line. They make my job so easy,” Beltran said. “I just have to give them a playable ball and I know they’ll make something out of nothing, so it’s all because of them. I’m just in a lucky position.”
On the next possession, Beltran would connect with Jung again to close the first quarter with a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. He completed 16 of 20 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 113 yards and adding another TD.
“He does an unbelievable job; he’s one of the most humble kids I’ve ever met in my life. If he’s leading from the front, the way he always does, they just follow his lead,” said Offensive Coordinator Austyn Carta-Samuels said.
Menlo’s D held Capuchino to 23 yards in its first three possessions and carried over to the last down. Ty Richardson batted down a deep pass and Jung delivered a sack to end the third, and Chris Liao recovered a fumble to give the Knights the ball back once more in the fourth. “We’ve been practicing hard all week and the defense just did a great job, as always,” Beltran said.
Beltran fired two more touchdown passes to seniors Tyler Flynn and Jung, while running one in himself for a 35-0 halftime lead. Giesler had five receptions for 87 yards, and added 36 rushing yards in four carries. Jung finished with five catches for 89 yards. Two of Flynn’s three catches were touchdowns. Beltran also distributed the ball to junior Robby Enright and senior Sam Scola, whose 36-yard reception led to Menlo’s third score. Ross Muchnick converted all six PATs.
The Knights next play Carlmont before meeting Sacred Heart Prep in the annual Valparaiso Bowl to close the regular season.
“We’re going to treat every game, every opponent, like Capuchino, with the highest respect, and we’re just going to do us,” Beltran said. “We don’t want to be in a position where we’re trailing and have to use all our energy to come back.”
The Knights are 12-1 overall dating back to the shortened spring 2021 season and during Coach Todd Smith’s tenure as head coach.
“This carries over from last year, ” Smith said. “They’ve learned from some guys, who have now graduated, on how to play the right way.”
“Our preparation - the schedule that (Smith) puts in place for us, and the maturity the team approaches practice with and the way they execute, it doesn’t surprise us when we’re firing on all cylinders,” Carter-Samuels said. “We’re just going to keep sticking to the process and hopefully keep having success.”
Menlo School 14 21 0 7 - 42
Capuchino 0 0 0 0 - 0
M- Jack Giesler 9 pass from Sergio Beltran (Ross Muchnick kick), 6:57
M- Carter Jung 14 pass from Beltran (Muchnick kick), 2:20
M - Tyler Flynn 2 pass from Sergio Beltran (Muchnick kick), 11:54
M - Beltran 1 run (Muchnick kick) 7:16
M - Jung 8 pass from Beltran (Muchnick kick), 4:31
M - Flynn 6 pass from Beltran (Muchnick kick), 11:32