Football (10-0) takes back Valpo Bowl crown
11.6.2021 – To top off a magical regular season, the Menlo School football team defeated Sacred Heart Prep 18-15 in the annual Valparaiso Bowl at home Saturday.
It was the 19th edition of the rivalry game, and the last one was actually played in April this year, postponed due to COVID, the only blemish to a shortened season. On Saturday, Menlo (10-0) ended a four-season drought, and the Valpo Cup will stay at Menlo.
Knights quarterback Sergio Beltran finishes the regular season with a CCS-record 44th touchdown pass after he tossed a shovel pass to junior Cort Halsey for a 4-yard score on the game’s opening drive. Beltran completed 19 of 22 passes for 128 yards. He also ran for 134 yards in 21 carries.
Forty five of Beltran’s rushing yards came on a drive at the end of the third quarter when he got the Knights to the 9 then junior Ty Richardson ran it in on the option.
Menlo went to punt late in the third. On the ensuing play, the ball came loose and senior Sam Scola scooped it up and ran into the end zone.
“This is a game people wanted to win the most. If we would have went 1-9 - although that wouldn’t be great - this is the game we would have wanted to win. ..Nothing feels better than being here right now. It was just do your job, be in the right place and make the play and things are going to go our way.”
Menlo held the 12-0 lead until more than midway through the third. Sacred Heart Prep scored on Anthony Noto’s run set up by a 31-yard pass from Jack Herrell to Zach Friere.
After Menlo’s third touchdown, the Gators moved the ball past midfield on a kickoff return then got inside the red zone. Then, the Knights defense took over: junior Eron Chen broke up a pass; senior Tyler Flynn recorded a sack and junior Robby Enright blocked a 35-yard field-goal attempt. SHP scored with 17 seconds left, but Scola fielded the onside kick to end the threat.
The Knights will learn their postseason match-up on Sunday.
SHP 0 0 7 8 - 15
Menlo 6 6 0 6 - 18
M- Cort Halsey 4 pass from Sergio Beltran (kick blocked), 8:07
M- Sam Scola 3 run fumble recovery return (run failed)
SHP - Anthony Noto 5 run (Sean Tinsley kick) 4:24
M - Ty Richardson 9 run (run failed) 11:54
SHP - Jack Herrell 2 run (Jack Halloran 2 pass from Herrell) :17