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Menlo frustrates former SHP football coach, beats TKA

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Ty Corley records one of Menlo's six sacks on the day. Photo by Pam McKenney/Menlo Athletics.

Pete Lavorado's return to Valparaiso Ave. was not a pleasant one -- in fact it was darn right frustrating.

The King's Academy varsity football coach is still looking for his first win since taking the helm of the Sunnyvale team this season, but didn't get any help from Menlo School. The hosts dismantled King's, 28-0, in the PAL Ocean Division opener for both teams.

Emilio Simbeck
Previously Lavorato had spent 14 seasons coaching Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton, which is just down the street from Menlo. His teams were 123-46-1, and earned five Central Coast Section titles.

But it's a different ballgame with King's, now 0-5.

Things got bad for Lavorato's team right from the beginning, as Menlo's senior running back -- and, let's face it, the focus of their offense -- Aidan Israelski, lowered the boom for a pair of quick touchdowns and a 14-0 lead by early in the second quarter.

Menlo's first drive featured seven Israelski runs -- the biggest for 15 yards to the King's 33. He scored on a three-yard run with 7:32 left in the first quarter to make it 7-0.

Israelski also had TD runs of 13 yards (second quarter) and 76 yards (a pretty run up the middle with 7:04 remaining in the second). That made it 21-0 at the half.

Israelski credits his offensive line.

"I'll take those guys over anyone," said Israelski, who carried 17 times for 189 yards. He also caught one pass for 16 yards. The front of Brian Mhatre, JH Tevis, Bailey Deeter, Cooper Stewart and Ty Corley dominated in the first half -- most notably on Israelski's 76-yard run.

"I challenged a couple of them to step up before this game, and they responded. Before games I promise Mhatre a meal at J and J's (Hawaiian Barbecue) and now I owe him two. I'll be in debt for a while."

But Israelski does his share of the damage to defenses as well. He must have carried multiple tacklers on five of more plays on Friday.

"I've never been big," said Israelski, who is 5-foot-7, 160 pounds, "But in my mind I'm 6-4, 240 playing out there. That's the mentality you have to have. You have to play big."

The defense was led by middle linebacker Deeter (8 tackles) and defensive end Tevis.

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