Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - November 4, 2011

M-A will play for a title

Bears visit Terra Nova in battle of unbeaten PAL Bay Division teams

by Rick Eymer

While the season started with a promising 43-7 victory, back-to-back losses by a combined score of 51-21 perhaps left members of the Menlo-Atherton football team wondering what the rest of the campaign had in store for them.

Since those two setbacks, the Bears have been on the prowl and in the hunt for a PAL Bay Division championship and high seed for the Central Coast Section playoffs.

After eight games, that scenario is still a possibility. However, it could all go away quickly if the Bears can't defeat host Terra Nova on Friday in showdown for the division title at 7 p.m.

Both teams are 4-0 in league and 6-2 overall. That's where the similarity ends. The Bears rely on their rushing while the two-time defending champion Tigers, who also are the defending CCS Division III champions, go with the passing game.

Menlo-Atherton is averaging 225 yards on the ground while Terra Nova is averaging 305 through the air. The Bears are averaging 29.8 points a game while the Tigers are scoring at a 38.1 ppg clip.

Taylor Mashack and Cameron Moody provide the Bears' one-two punch in their effective run game while Chris Forbes has thrown for 2,434 yards for the Tigers in addition to running for 528 more while averaging 370 yards per game in total offense.

Clearly, something has to give on Friday as the two offensive-minded teams meet.

Elsewhere on Friday, Palo Alto can't win the SCVAL De Anza Division title just yet, but can take another step closer to it by beating visiting Los Altos in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

The Vikings are 4-1 in the division (6-2 overall) while the El Camino-bound Eagles are in last place at 0-5 (1-7). Paly should have things wrapped up by halftime while preparing for next Friday's showdown at Milpitas (4-1, 7-1) for the league title.

Gunn, meanwhile, will be looking to rebound from a disappointing homecoming loss to Monta Vista last week when the Titans (2-2, 2-5) play host to Fremont (2-2, 2-5) at 7:30 p.m.

Sacred Heart Prep (2-2, 6-2) will continue playing for a solid CCS seed when the Gators host Jefferson (0-3, 1-6) in PAL Bay Division action at 2:45 p.m.o

Menlo School (1-3, 5-3) hopes to keep its postseason hopes alive when it hosts Woodside on Friday at 2:45 p.m.

In eight-man action, Priory (4-4) will host Pinewood (4-3) in a battle for neighborhood bragging rights at 3:30 p.m.

In last week's games:

M-A 27, Sacred Heart Prep 14

Cameron Moody rushed for three touchdowns, including a pair of 31-yard runs, and finished with 107 yards as the Bears remained unbeaten in league play with their fifth straight victory.

Daver Refioglu rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown for the Gators, who could have pulled into a second-place tie in the Bay Division with a win and still have a chance at a share of the title. SHP had a two-game winning streak end and had won 10 of its previous 11 games.

Palo Alto 46, Mt. View 14

Senior running back Morris Gates-Mouton ran for 149 yards and three touchdowns to power Palo Alto to a big win on homecoming.

Paly sophomore quarterback Keller Chryst was an efficient 10-of-12 for 253 yards and four touchdowns, giving him eight TD passes in the past two games. Senior wideout B.J. Boyd caught three passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns. He had TD catches of 63, 58 and 17 yards. Chryst also hooked up with Ozzie Braff for a 17-yard score.

Aragon 30, Menlo 7

Sophomore quarterback Jack Heneghan threw for 312 yards, but it wasn't enough for the Knights, who were out-gained on the ground, 296-7.

Monta Vista 49, Gunn 28

The Titans got their usual outstanding game from senior JJ Strnad, who tallied three touchdowns, but a couple of key plays where the ball didn't bounce their way spelled the difference.

Pinewood 56, Anchorpoint Christian 6

The Panthers earned a three-way share of the Mission Trails Athletic League title with a surprisingly easy drubbing of the four-time defending league champion. Dante Fraioli led the Panthers by rushing for 170 yards and scoring five touchdowns, while adding 21 tackles on defense. Teammates Kevin Sweat and Greg Naumann added interceptions as Pinewood finished 3-1 in league.

Priory 52, Cornerstone Christian 0

Quarterback Will Latta set a school record with three touchdown passes to pace the Panthers (4-4) to a lopsided victory on Friday. Latta finished with 116 passing yards on four of five completions. James McDaniel had seven carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns in the eight-man game.

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