Menlo School advanced to its second-ever championship game in the Central Coast Section football playoffs with a 41-27 victory over top-seeded Seaside in the Division IV semifinals on Friday night in Monterey County.
The No. 4-seeded Knights (10-2) advance to next Saturday's title game against the winner of today's other semifinal between Soquel and host Sacred Heart Prep. Menlo last reached the CCS finals in 2009.
Menlo junior quarterback Jack Heneghan continued his sensational season by completing 22 of 37 passes for 240 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions to ruin the Spartans" perfect season (11-1). Heneghan now has thrown for 2,698 yards and 33 touchdowns this season.
Seaside quarterback Michael Turner completed 12 of 20 passes for 296 yards and four touchdowns. However, Turner threw a pair of interceptions in the fourth quarter while trying to rally the Spartans from a 14-point deficit.
Heneghan opened with an eight-yard TD pass to Peter Bouret in the first quarter, but Seaside countered with a 28-yard scoring toss from Turner to his younger brother, Ronald.
The Knights grabbed the lead back when Travis Chambers caught an 11-yard TD pass from Heneghan. Menlo made it a 20-7 game when Matt Bradley tossed a halfback option pass to Connor Stastny for a 17-yard score.
After Seaside rallied with a TD to make it 20-14, Heneghan went back to work and found Chambers for a six-yard scoring toss to make it 27-14. The Spartans, however, scored once again just before halftime and Menlo took a 27-20 lead into halftime.
Menlo opened the second half with what turned out to be the deciding touchdown when Will King grabbed a Seaside punt that had hit another Menlo player and strolled into the end zone from five yards for a 34-20 lead.
Stastny and Heneghan hooked up later for a 17-yard touchdown to put the icing on the Knights' celebratory cake.