Prep football roundup by Andrew Preimesberger and Palo Alto Online Sports. including games by Menlo-Atherton, Menlo School, Woodside and Sacred Heart Prep.
M-A 28, Aragon 23
The Bears opened PAL Bay Division play in a big way by handing the visiting Dons their first loss of the season on Friday night. Menlo-Atherton moved to 1-0 (2-2 overall) while Aragon, a title contender, dropped to 0-1 (4-1).
M-A quarterback Royce Branning completed all six passes he attempted in the second quarter for 165 yards and two touchdowns, on score a 72-yarder to Evan Perkins. Lineman Enzo Santos returned an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter to give the Bears a 28-17 lead.
Aragon had the ball at its own 24 with 2:33 left, using a big pass play to reach the Bears' 10. On a third down, however, Perkins intercepted a pass to seal the big victory.
Menlo School 43, Woodside 12
The Menlo School Knights took a 22-point halftime lead over host Woodside and ran away with a solid victory in a PAL Ocean Division opener Friday night. The Knights improved to 5-0 overall.
The Knights have outscored their opponents 261-64 and hold a 52.2 points per game scoring average.
Once again, the Knights employed a balance approach. The quarterback tag team of Jack Heneghan and Matt Bradley -- and running back Travis Chambers -- combined to complete 22-of-26 passes for 365 yards. Heneghan led the way with 16-of-23 passing for 293 yards. He also had nine carries for 106 yards.
The Knights' Connor Stastny had seven catches for 87 yards and a pair of TDs while Connor Paterson finished with 6 receptions for 91 yards. Wiley Osborne had two catches -- both for touchdowns.
Woodside got on the board first with an 83-yard passing TD, but the Knights went on to score 43 unanswered points all before the fourth quarter where a running clock was employed.
Once Heneghan found Max Parker for a 55-yard scoring strike with just under three minutes left in the first quarter, the Knights pulled away.
The Knights came out of the half and the defense stopped Woodside from getting past its 30 and included a Monty Newman sack on third down.
Menlo moved the ball quickly down the field, Heneghan had two big runs to get the ball to the Wildcats' 39. Heneghan then found Paterson for a 20-yard completion. On third down, Heneghan kept his composure and connected with Peter Bouret for a 20-yard TD.
Woodside drove down the field - aided by a couple penalties - to the Menlo 2-yard line. The Wildcats' fumbled the snap and the Knights thwarted the drive.
On first play from scrimmage, Menlo moved the ball on several Heru Peacock runs. Matt Bradley found Paterson for an 18-yard gain. Bradley had a big run down the left line, then passed to Stastny for an 11-yard catch and his second touchdown of the day. Bradley then rushed to completed the two-point conversion.
Sacred Heart Prep 10, Burlingame 0
Sacred Heart Prep's stubborn defense sacked Burlingame quarterbacks five times and allowed only 167 total yards to lead the host Gators to a 10-0 win in a PAL Bay Division football opener on Friday afternoon.
Sacred Heart maintained first place in its division in advancing to 5-0 while the Panthers fell to 2-3. The win for the Gators marks the second-best start in the program's history.
Sacred Heart started the 2008 season with an 8-0 record and wound up going 11-1-1, losing in a CCS finale to Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The Gators have dominated teams this season, outscoring their opponents by a total of 180-9. Friday's win marked the Gators' third straight shutout win.
"This is the best defense we've had in my 10 years here," said Sacred Heart coach Peter Lavorato. "We have a bunch of guys that want to get it done. We're not real big, but we're quick and we don't make many mistakes."
The Gators' offense was ignited by a 46-yard kick return from senior running back Ryan Gaertner, which put the Gators at the Panthers' 44 yard-line.
Senior quarterback Kevin Donahoe ran for a 14-yard touchdown to cap that drive, putting the Gators up 7-0 in the first quarter.
The Sacred Heart defense gave up a mere 93 rushing yards and zero passing yards in the first half.
Down 7-0, the Panthers had a chance to tie the game in the fourth quarter. However, the plan failed when junior kicker Derek Atlas faked a punt, tucked it in and ran, but that only got Burlingame back to the line of scrimmage for a change of possession.
The Gators wouldn't score again until the fourth quarter when senior kicker Brendan Spillane kicked a 25-yard field goal to put Sacred Heart up 10-0 with 1:06 left to play.
SHP's defensive standouts included linemen Nikolai de Saint Andrieu, Patrick Finnigan and Kyle Schaul plus linebacker Mike Covell and safeties Daniel Thaure and Noah Kawasaki.
Sacred Heart is set to take on host Terra Nova next Friday in a PAL Bay Division matchup at 7 p.m. The Tigers ended the Gators' four-game win streak to start last season.