Menlo-Atherton junior running back Jordan Mims set a school single-game record with 324 rushing yards and added four touchdowns as the Bears earned a 31-10 PAL Bay Division Division football victory over visiting Aragon Friday night.
The Bears are now 2-0 (3-3 overall) while Aragon fell to 0-2 (4-2 overall). M-A moved into a first-place tie with Sacred Heart Prep and Burlingame.
"I thought we played hard and physical but a lot of mental mistakes with the penalties," said Bears head coach Adhir Ravipati. "I just told the kids at the half we just have to settle down. I think we were a little juiced up with the homecoming. They played hard and physical but just need to clean some stuff up."
Early in the fourth quarter on a fourth-and-14, sophomore quarterback Miles Conrad hooked up with Mims for a dump pass and the running back took it to the end zone to give M-A a two-score lead at 24-10.
"It was a pretty big play," said Ravipati. "On those situations I like to bring pressure, especially off the edge. We thought if we got it down to that distance we were prepared to run our halfback screen, we practiced it all week. They were ready to run it and we did it."
On Menlo-Atherton's third possession of the first quarter, Mims broke free for a 74-yard sprint down the right side of the field, going untouched for the touchdown and MA took the 7-3 lead. The junior had 400 all-purpose yards and scored all four of the Bears' touchdowns.
"The kid can do a little bit of everything," said Ravipati. "He's got power, speed, a great O-line up front. He's also got great vision and feel and he's only a junior."
Mims had 147 yards on just seven carries in the first half.
The Dons took the lead in the second quarter when quarterback Tanner Nguyen ran in for a three-yard touchdown making it a 10-7 lead for Aragon. Nguyen finished with 238 total passing yards, throwing 22 for 43.
After the Aragon touchdown, M-A rushed down the field and senior Dylan Calderon nailed a 27-yard field goal with one second to go in the half to tie the game at 10.
In the third quarter, Mims ran for his third-longest rush of the night, a 47-yard juke and then dash in open field and scored making it 17-10 Bears. Mims has 833 rushing yards in six games.
With under two minutes left in the game, Mims got another touch and took off down the sideline for yet another huge gain, a 70-yard touchdown to cap off the Bears' third straight win.
Despite the huge individual effort, Mims still came up well short of the PAL record of 424 rushing yards in a single game by Onan Reyes of Burlingame in 1996. Reyes carried 56 times in a blowout win over Mills in that game.
Menlo-Atherton is set to take on Sacred Heart Prep at M-A next Friday in a PAL Bay Division showdown at 7 p.m.
"They're a great team," said Ravipati. "One of the best coaching staffs in the state. We just have to have a great week at practice and eliminate the mental mistakes. We have to make sure we're ready to play physical football for four quarters."
Palo Alto 62, Fremont 13
The Vikings had their best game running the ball with nearly 400 yards and seven touchdowns while trampling host Fremont in SCVAL De Anza Division action on Friday night. Paly rushed to a 42-0 halftime lead and cruised from their while improving to 2-1 in league (3-4 overall).
After being pushed around by Milpitas in a 40-13 loss last week, the Vikings pushed back against the Firebirds (0-3, 2-5) and had great success especially on defense with three interceptions, including a 62-yard return for touchdown by Jordan Schilling. Paly also held Fremont to negative yards rushing.
Paly sophomore running back Paul Jackson III rushed for three touchdowns of 9, 9 and 36 yards while gaining more than 100 yards to spark the offense with Shaun Pike adding two scores.
Half Moon Bay 22, Menlo School 19
The Knights saw their undefeated season end as the host Cougars scored with just 32 seconds left to play to put out the PAL Ocean Division victory. Menlo fell to 1-1 in league and 5-1 overall while HMB improved to 2-0 and 6-0 while taking the division lead.
While HMB concentrated on running the ball, Menlo took to the air with Mackenzie Morehead completing 19 of 38 for 268 yards and two touchdowns. While driving toward perhaps a game-tying field goal in the final seconds of the game, Morehead was picked off.
Despite the loss, Menlo's defense was solid as it held the Cougars well below their average of 45 points per game coming into the contest.
Sacred Heart Prep 48, Sequoia 3
Playing a rare home game under the lights, the Gators rolled to yet another impressive victory as Lapitu Mahoni, Isoa Moimoi and Nick O'Donnell all scored twice in a PAL Bay Division contest.
Since starting the season 1-2, Sacred Heart Prep (2-0, 4-2) has won three straight while averaging 57 points a game.
Senior quarterback Mason Randall was 10 of 12 for 128 yards and touchdowns of 18 and 14 yards to O'Donnell. Mahoni (85 yards) and Moimoi (83 yards) helped the Gators control the game with 268 rushing yards against the Cherokees (0-2, 1-5).
Azne Elsafy had eight tackles, including a sack for a minus six yards, to pace SHP's defensive effort. James Kirkham had an interception and Cameron Dulsky had a fumble recovery.
Lynbrook 22, Gunn 6
The Titans came up with their best defensive effort of the season after allowing an average of 48.3 points in their previous six games, but the performance still wasn't enough as Gunn dropped to 0-3 in the SCVAL El Camino Division and 0-7 overall.