Max Parker took the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown and the Menlo Knights never looked back in a 66-14 non-league victory over Santa Cruz at home last Friday.
The Knights built a 50-7 halftime lead balancing an aerial attack and rushing game. Menlo then came out of the half in the same fashion in which it began. On the first possession of the second half, the Cardinals lined up to punt, but a poor snap gave Menlo the safety. On the safety kickoff, junior Travis Chambers ran back the ball for a 62-yard touchdown.
“I was pleased with special teams playing so well early – in midseason form,” Coach Mark Newton said. “The offensive and defensive line did a really nice job.”
Timmy Costa nailed his seventh of eight PATs, and the Knights led 59-7 just minutes into the third quarter.
Menlo junior Jack Heneghan passed for 111 yards with three touchdowns, including a 48-yard pass to senior Connor Stastny for a first-quarter score and a 40-yard run. Heru Peacock, a senior, had two touchdown runs - one for 68 yards.
The defense held the Cardinals to 139 total yards and a couple first downs.
“I think a good thing is that we showed that a lot of the younger players did their job,” Newton said. “We got to play everyone and they knew their assignments and executed.”
The Knights' defense rarely let the Cardinals reach a first down - Will King's sack near the end of the first - set the Cardinals back nine yards and led to a punt. On Menlo's next possession, quarterback Matt Bradley found Wiley Osborne for a 12-yard gain and two plays later, Bradley ran in for a 6-yard TD and a 30-0 advantage. Bradley also logged a fourth-quarter sack.
The Knights play Mission-San Francisco at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at Kezar Stadium.
Last season, Menlo edged Mission-San Francisco in a game that came down to the final seconds.
“They’re a very dangerous team. They’re well coached and have a lot of athleticism,” Newton said.