Prep football: Gunn races past Harbor to claim second win | News | Palo Alto Online |


Prep football: Gunn races past Harbor to claim second win


What’s this? Gunn on a winning streak?

You’d better believe it. It’s now two in a row for new head coach Brandon Boyd, and the Titans did it in impressive fashion on Friday night in a nonleague football game vs. Harbor of Santa Cruz.

Gunn (2-1) claimed a fuel-injected 52-20 victory on its home field, scoring in just about every way possible. At the center of it all was senior quarterback Hudson Alexander, who threw for 219 yards and six touchdowns – also running for 32 yards on four carries and playing standout defense.

“This was simply fun,” said Alexander, who also blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone for another TD, and had nine tackles, with one-and-a-half sacks.

“We’ve been pretty bad the past three or four years, and to turn it around like this is amazing.”

Gunn had lost seven in a row dating to last season, but after dropping its opener to Soquel, the Titans beat James Lick (49-27) last week.

This time they got off to a 28-0 lead, and led 50-12 after three quarters, triggering a running clock.

It may be their first running clock ever.

“This is such a fun group,” said Boyd, who was the defensive backs coach before taking the helm in Week 2. Former head coach Tony Kelly abruptly stepped down after the opener, citing health reasons.

“These guys love each other and are fighting for each other. They’re such a loose and talented group. It’s really been fun the past two weeks.”

Alexander seems more comfortable with his reads every week, and that should concern Gunn’s opponents. He was 15-of-21 passing, with his main targets being Lee Howard (four catches for 92 yards and two TDs) and DJ Barnes 3 catches, 78 yards, two TDs).

Alexander hooked up the Howard for scoring plays of 43 and 26 yards, the former when he hit his receiver in the right flat, with about 30 yards of yards-after-catch. That made it 14-0 – and people sensed this one was decided.

Barnes’ big play was a 39-yard TD from Alexander late in the third quarter to make it 50-12.

Solomone Paletua had a pair of short TD receptions, and rushed for 41 yards on three carries. Two of those were over the right side behind blocks by Nick Alfonso, Luis Morales and Aidan Cannon.

Shining on defense were Howard (two interceptions), Barnes, and defensive end Ethan Houston. Jeff Cui had two sacks.

Menlo 28, Piedmont 7

Aidan Israelski scored twice, Emilio Simbeck threw for another touchdown and Menlo School downed host Piedmont 28-7 in a nonleague game Friday night.

The Knights (2-1) used a balanced offensive attack, with three runners gaining at least 57 yards, and put on a defensive showcase.

Piedmont had outscored its previous two opponents by a margin of 91-17. The Knights held the Highlanders to 92 total yards of offense en route to the victory.

After Piedmont (2-1) scored first, on a 68-yard strike that accounted for 74 percent of the Highlanders' total yards, Menlo went to work

The Knights opened and closed the second quarter with scoring drives that resulted in Israelski's 5-yard run and a 2-yard pass from fellow senior captain Emilio Simbeck, who completed 14 of 20 passes for 191 yards, with no interceptions.

Seniors JH Tevis and Baily Deeter each collected six tackles to pace an unrelenting defense.

Junior Dillon Grady, who finished with 67 rushing yards, picked up a third-quarter run. Senior Jack Shiff added a four-yard run late in the fourth to wrap up the win.

On the final possession, Tevis recorded a big tackle for a loss and Cooper Stewart followed with his second sack of the day to thwart the Highlanders.

M-A 30, Palma 7

Miles Conrad threw for a pair of touchdowns and Menlo-Atherton earned its first victory of the season after dropping consecutive games to Bellarmine and Mitty.

The Bears (1-2) travel to Los Gatos for a nonleague game at 7 p.m. Friday.

Leigh 35, Woodside 29

Woodside lost in heart-breaking fashion, giving up a touchdown with 35 seconds remaining to play in a 35-29 nonleague football contest to host Leigh-San Jose on Friday night.

The Wildcats (0-3) took a 29-21 lead with under five minutes to play in the third quarter.

Woodside had a pass intercepted at Leigh's four-yard line with about nine minutes remaining and lost the ball on downs six minutes later.

Leigh's Eric Elizondo broke free for a 50-yard touchdown run and the two-point conversion tied the score with two minutes left.

The Longhorns (2-0) got the ball on their own 38-yard line with under a minute to play. They completed a long pass and eventually faced a 3rd and one just outside the Woodside one-yard line.

Leigh scored but missed the PAT, giving Woodside one last chance to either tie or win. An interception near midfield ended the threat and Leigh held on.

The Wildcats travel to Christopher-Gilroy for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff next Friday.

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6 people like this
Posted by Go Titans
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 9, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Hooray! Go, Gunn Titans!
These are hard-working studenst who have stayed committed through some tough times! We love you regardless of the final score. But winning is more fun!

3 people like this
Posted by Player for Gunn
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 9, 2017 at 6:59 pm

Many stat corrections to be made tin article. Jeff Cui did not show up to the game, therefore did not have any sacks. Alexander was actually 21-28 with 248 yards. Alexander also had 3.5 sacks and 10 tackles. Mitchell Mertz was the one who recovered the fumble in the end zone.

1 person likes this
Posted by Gunning for 3-1
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 10, 2017 at 8:16 pm

Maxpreps ranks high school football teams. Of the 86 varsity football teams in the Central Coast Section (CCS), Gunn (2-1 on the season) now ranks No. 81 ahead of its next opponent (No. 82 Andrew Hill High of San Jose which is 2-0 on the season). As long as the worse teams play each other, injuries are minimized. On the other hand, I bet at least half of all varsity football players sustain injuries that last a lifetime - including brain injuries. But sure, "winning" on the scoreboard is more fun than "losing."

Like this comment
Posted by WhydCoachLeave
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 11, 2017 at 12:33 pm

The Weekly should did a little deeper on why head Coach Tony Kelly had to leave. He's the drive behind revitalizing the program and was let go after the first game

Like this comment
Posted by Gunning for 3-1
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 12, 2017 at 9:45 am

The short story cited "health reasons." If Mr. Kelly played football earlier in life, it could be taking a toll now. Of course, if it is a health matter, we all wish him a full and quick recovery.

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