Menlo News November 18, 2022

CCS: Football back in championship game

Three TDs from Ty Richardson in second-half comeback over Live Oak.
Menlo senior Ty Richardson had three touchdowns in under five minutes in the third and fourth quarters against Live Oak.

11.18.22 – It was a familiar storyline and a welcome finish for the Menlo School football team, who delivered another second-half comeback in a 21-14 win over host Live Oak on Friday night to earn a bid to the CCS Div. III Championship.

The No.3 seeded Knights now will face No.6 Hollister - a 42-28 winner over top seed Soquel. The teams face off at 7:00 pm Saturday night at Rabobank Stadium in Salinas. Menlo returns to a CCS Championship game in back-to-back seasons. Last year, Menlo fell to Wilcox in the Div. II Championship.

In Morgan Hill, senior running back Ty Richardson powered in three touchdowns, and junior Eron Chen had two interceptions and a fumble recovery as the Knights staged a comeback from a 14-0 halftime deficit.

All of the Knights scoring came within a under-5-minute span over the third and fourth quarters. The teams traded two possessions each, then Chen made his second interception of the day - the first coming on Live Oak’s first possession of the game, stopping a fourth-and-7 at the Knights’ 24.

His second put Knights on the Acorns’ 39 and led to Richardson’s 6-yard touchdown on a counter run four plays later and Menlo now trailed by a score with 1:57 left before the fourth.

“We weren’t really able to get our counter run going in the first half. Once we got going in the second half, we kept running and running it. My line was doing a really good job, the seam was there every single time, so I just hit it,” Richardson said.

By now, the Knights were successfully shutting down Live Oak’s robust run game, and senior defensive end Ralston Raphael took down quarterback Landon Stump with a sack, forcing a punt just before the fourth.

Menlo secured possession kept Live Oak guessing as Jake Bianchi went to Robby Enright and then Richardson for a 24-yard score for a Ty, er tie game at 14-14 with 11:12 left.


Live Oak went to the air as the Knights’ defense was effectively shutting down the run game, including a sack by Avery Romain and a tackle for a loss from fellow senior Alec Jabal. The Acorns’ leading rusher Josh Gagni ran for nearly 80 yards in the first half, and was held to 12 in the second half.

Less than a minute later, junior Brady Jung picked off a Live Oak pass, setting the Knights up for Richardson’s winning touchdown with 10 minutes to play. The Knights had nearly a whole quarter to protect its lead and they did just that.

After the third touchdown, Live Oak got past the midfield mark until Jabal and his teammates knocked the ball loose. Chen scooped up the fumble with 5:44 left. The teams traded possessions then Bianchi kneeled to run the time out.

Xavier Catano scored both of Live Oak’s first-quarter touchdowns on keepers.

Menlo School   0    0   7   14  - 21
Live Oak           14  0   0    0  - 14

First quarter
LO: Xavier Catano 9 run (Diego Castellanos kick) 2:56
LO: Xavier Catano 2 run (Diego Castellanos kick) 1:49

Third quarter
M: Ty Richardson 6 run (Ross Muchnick kick) 1:57

Fourth quarter
M: Richardson 7 run (Muchnick kick) 11:12
M: Richardson 41 run (Muchnick kick) 10:06