Football falls in Valpo Bowl XXI; playoffs next
11.3.2023 – The Menlo School football team went into Valpo Bowl XXI undefeated, and compiled a 9-0 record before taking its first loss of the season in a 31-19 rivalry game loss to Sacred Heart Prep on Friday night.
The Knights (9-1, 5-0 PAL DeAnza Division) now await their postseason matchup to be announced Sunday.
On Friday night at Cartan Field, SHP took a 7-0 lead on Ravu Savali’s 4-yard rushing touchdown to open the game, but Menlo had a retort. The Knights took just seven plays to score thanks in large part to a 44-yard catch by Harry Housser from fellow senior Mikey McGrath.
The Knights stopped the Gators on their next possession after an SHP holding call then a huge sack by Bradford Tudor to force a fumble and Parker Ashton recovered, stopping SHP at Menlo’s 30.
Right at the start of the quarter, the Gators scored on a fumble return. Menlo answered when sophomore jack Freehill marched the Knights downfield, connecting twice with passed to Jung then hit Tudor for a 28-yard touchdown and Menlo trailed 14-13 midway through the second quarter.
SHP added two more scores on a run and after recovering an onside kick, scored on a pass for a 28-13 lead.
With 3 minutes left before halftime, an outage in one of the banks of temporary lights caused a delay, and the dance teams from Menlo and SHP used the time for early halftime performances.
After the delay, the Knights promptly moved downfield, starting with a 40-yard pass from McGrath to Brady Jung, but the drive fell just short. Menlo would score again with 6 minutes left in the game when McGrath ran in from 3 yards.
McGrath completed 6 of 11 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns - one passing and one rushing, Freehill completed 7 of 11 for 157 yards and a TD. Jung had seven catches for 149 yards and a TD while Willis Johnson ran for 33 yards in 8 carried and Harry Housser had 2 catches for 51 yards.
Sacred Heart Prep 7 21 3 0 - 31
Menlo School 7 6 0 6 - 19
S - Ravu Savali 4 run (Nathan Fox kick), 8:28
M - Harry Housser 25 pass from Mikey McGrath (Andre Gonzales Lombera kick), 5:49
S - Anthony Noto fumble return (Fox kick) 11:50
M - Bradford Tudor 28 pass from Jack Freehill (bad snap) 6:17
S - Jack Stevens 40 pass from Jack Scully (Fox kick) 4:09
S - Noto 33 run (Fox kick) 3:06
S - Fox 36 FG
M - McGrath 3 run 6:05
Pam Tso McKenney