Menlo News September 17, 2023

Knights football takes down M-A

Menlo beats Menlo-Atherton 28-13 for first time since 2014

From the opening kickoff, the Menlo School football team took control en route to a 28-13 non-league victory over Menlo-Atherton at home Saturday.
The Knights improved to 4-0 as they head into the bye week and then to Peninsula Athletic League-DeAnza play against Homestead on Sept. 30.
It was the 2014 season when Menlo last beat Menlo-Atherton. Three alumni from that team Robert Lopez, Aidan Israelski and Roberto Alarcon were underclassmen, and now are Menlo JV assistant coaches. Since then, the teams have only met twice - both times M-A wins - despite their proximity to one another.
On Saturday, banked on a pair of touchdown passes each from Mikey McGrath and Jack Freehill - one each to Nicky Scacco and Brady Jung. The Knights’ defense once again was stalwart - its defense shutting down M-A from all angles.
“We just got after it today. Coach Tevis always instills in us know what it takes and we had a good five days of practice,” senior Parker Ashton said about defensive line coach JH Tevis, a Menlo, Cal and Indiana star. “Being the bigger guys, it’s going to start with us, so we just wanted it.”
Menlo School’s one platoon has always been the pride of the program. It isn’t often that the quarterbacks play such key roles on defense as well, Case in point, against M-A. Mikey McGrath assisted on a fourth-down tackle on a play then several plays later, throws a 20-yard pass.
“It’s instilling values, care, respect into all of them so they don’t want to come off the field,” Menlo coach Todd Smith said. “They want to do great not just for themselves but for the people around them. I think that’s what is the driving factor.”
Menlo junior Jack Earnhardt recovered the opening onside kick and while the Knights didn’t convert, it seemed to have set the tone for the day,.
On Menlo’s next possession, however, on fourth down and long, senior Nicky Scacco grabbed a 26-yard pass from Mikey McGrath then took a 7-0 lead into the second period.
It would be Scacco again -this time scoring on a 10-yard strike from sophomore quarterback Jack Freehill. Two plays earlier, Freehill found senior wideout Harry Housser for a 23-yard pass on 4th and 13.
Menlo recorded a pair of sacks on the next possession with Ashton and Bradford Tudor collaborating on one and David Mhatre, Luke Rogers and Lawrence Latu picking up another and stopping the Bears after 19 yards.
On the Knights’ ensuing possession, McGrath needed just one play, delivering a 79-yard bomb to Brady Jung and the Knights took a 21-0 advantage with 3:37 left in first half,
Palmer Riley’s interception stopped M-A, who would get the ball back once more before the half. After two quick strikes, Xander Eschelman passed to James Gray for a 10-yard TD with 19 seconds left in the half.
To counter the Bears’ second TD, Jung’s second touchdown of the day was a 15-yard pass from Freehill, set up by a Freehill to Luke Rogers’ 42-yard pass.
The Knights D continued to be relentless with sacks from David Mhatre, Palmer Riley, Bradford Tudor and fumble recovery from Riley.
Andre Gonzales Lombera, a senior in his first year on the football team, converted all his PATs
The Knights have outscored their opponents 115-40 through four games.

Menlo-Atherton 0 6 7 0 -13
Menlo School 7 14 7 0 - 28

First quarter
MS - Nicky Scacco 26 pass from Mikey McGrath (Andre Gonzales Lombera kick) 4:29

Second quarter
MS - Scacco 10 pass from Jack Freehill (Gonzales Lombera kick), 7:06
MS - Brady Jung 79 pass from McGrath (Gonzales Lombera kick) 3:47
MA - James Grey 10 pass from Xander Eschelman (kick failed) :14.2

Third quarter
MA - Eschelman 40 run (Aidan Mulcahy kick), 9:15
MS - Jung 15 from Freehill (Gonzales Lombera kick) 7:38