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Prep football: Gunn rally a good sign but not enough to win

DJ Barnes made this remarkable catch in the end zone, one of 11 receptions on the night. Photo by Butch Garcia.

Hudson Alexander doesn't like to lose football games but he sees the bright side of the equation as well. Alexander threw for 306 yards and four touchdowns, including a 29-yard strike to freshman Liam Teare that gave host Gunn a fourth-quarter lead.

It didn't last. Soquel scored with 1:19 remaining to pin a 28-25 setback on the Titans in a nonleague contest Friday.

Alexander, an easy-going natural leader, remembers the days when no more than four players showed up in the weight room during an off-season program. That didn't sit well with him.

"When T.K. (Gunn coach Tony Kelly) got here we jumped in a golf cart and started recruiting on campus," Alexander said. "We eventually got enough to build a team. But we need all 24 people to stay healthy, to be good. We can be good too."

If his passing ability isn't enough, his ability to pull the ball down and take off should be. He's the kind of quarterback who takes responsibility.

His first pass of the season went for a 57-yard touchdown to Solomone Paletua. He was quick to point out that his second pass was intercepted.

Just getting out on the field gave him a lot of joy.

"It felt good," he said. "It was a long time coming. I've been waiting for this for a while."

Alexander's favorite target was DJ Barnes. They connected on 11 passes for 134 yards, including a 20-yard scoring strike that sparked the Titans rally.

Gunn scored 19 unanswered points to rally from a 21-6 deficit, another step in the right direction.

"That was amazing," Barnes said. "I've never seen anything like that to come out and take the lead."

The Titans have a chance to snap a seven-game losing streak, dating to last year, when they host James Lick at 7 p.m. Friday. Like Soquel and Gunn, James Lick finished 2-8 last year.

East Nicolaus 16, Menlo 9

Menlo School opened the season with a 16-9 loss to host East Nicolaus, a CIF regional finalist, on Friday evening.

The Knights defense, with JH Tevis in the forefront, stood its ground, slowing a Spartans' team that averaged 44 points per game last season.

East Nicolaus got on the board first scoring on a long pass from Gavin McAuliffe to Chris Miller then McAuliffe ran in the ball for the conversion and an 8-0 first-quarter lead.

Menlo drove down the field, entered the red zone and settled for a Dillon Grady 25-yard field goal with minutes left in the first quarter.

In the third, Menlo struck again when Emilio Simbeck found fellow senior David Schmaier for a 14-yard scoring strike. The Spartans countered with a rushing touchdown in the fourth and held off the Knights' late charge.

Patterson 37, Palo Alto 27

Early season mistakes and a scary injury proved costly in Palo Alto's season-opening loss.

Sophomore receiver Jamir Shepard sustained an upper body injury late in the first half that required a visit to the local hospital.

The Vikings spotted Patterson 20 points before springing to life with a Jackson Chryst touchdown pass to Paul Thie. Chryst also ran for a score as did Paul Jackson III.

Palo Alto hosts defending Central Coast Section Division V champions Half Moon Bay at 7 p.m. Friday. The Cougars beat host Saratoga 63-7 in their opener.

San Benito 28, Sacred Heart Prep 21

The Gators dropped their opener on Friday. They will look to bounce back next Saturday when Sobrato visits for a 2 p.m. kickoff.

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Like this comment
Posted by curious
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 27, 2017 at 11:29 am

when did a single sport in high school sport--especially football & basketball become a year round mandatory commitment for high school athletes? both sports "require" their athletes to participate in some mandatory event almost daily for each sport. when did this happen? what does CCS regulations say about this?

Like this comment
Posted by Stanford Professor
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 27, 2017 at 11:41 am

[Post removed.]

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