Football (8-0) secures league championship
10.20.2023 – The Menlo School football team clinched the Peninsula Athletic League DeAnza Division title with a 34-21 win Friday night on the road at The King’s Academy and moved to 8-0 overall.
CCS Div. III defending champion Menlo (4-0) won its 17th league title in program history.
“It feels great to see our hard work paying off - and not just us, the coaches, the trainers,” Menlo senior running back Willis Johnson said. “The team has been showing a lot of grit.”
Johnson finished with 108 rushing yards in 16 carries. Menlo prevailed over a persistent TKA team with a second-half shutdown with a steady stream of scoring.
Menlo broke a 21-21 late in the second quarter when senior quarterback Mikey McGrath, buoyed by the offensive front, leapt in from the 3 for a touchdown with 1:42 left in the first half. Senior Brady Jung hauled in a 51-yard pass from McGrath three plays before to help set up the score. Senior Andre Gonzalez Lombera posted his fourth PAT of the night and Menlo led 28-21
McGrath finished with 281 total yards, which included 127 rushing yards in 14 carried and three touchdowns.
“Especially last year since I was hurt, being able to play means a lot,” said McGrath, who has made a remarkable comeback from season-ending injuries.
“I think we’ve had success so far because of our culture,” McGrath said. “Whether it’s practice or games, everyone loves to be there.”Menlo tacked on another score more than midway through the third. Thanks to senior Harry Housser’s interception, Menlo put together an 8-play drive which culminated in McGrath’s foruth rushing touchdown of the day and the final 34-21 with 4:38 left in the third.”The line was really opening up holes for us and blocking so we could make those plays,” McGrath said,
Menlo sophomore Palmer Riley blocked PAT attempt after TKA’s Kyle Welch scores on a pass from Reid Black. Menlo 14, TKA 13, 5:54 left
Menlo got a huge kickoff return from senior Nicky Scacco. Johnson capitalized, getting the ball to the 11 with a 9-yard gain then runs it in, with a key block from Parker Ashton and Ryan Jabal clearing the way, for his second TD of the day and Menlo led 21-13 with 5:18 left in the half.
Menlo struck first after McGrath ran it in from the 4. McGrath opened the possession with a 35-yard run for the first score. Menlo jumped ahead again after Johnson ran in for the TD and 14-7 advantage two plays into the second quarter.
Pam Tso McKenney