Simbeck's aerial attack leads the Knights to PAL Ocean win | News | Palo Alto Online |


Simbeck's aerial attack leads the Knights to PAL Ocean win


The Menlo School football team may have a different running back, a different quarterback and a different wide receiver but its offense is picking up where it left off last year.

The Knights won their sixth consecutive Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division contest dating to a loss to Half Moon Bay in week one last year, beating host South San Francisco, 48-13, Friday night.

The Knights (4-2, 2-0), who have outscored its first two league opponents by a 76-13 margin, travel to Sequoia for a game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Sequoia lost to co-league leader and undefeated Hillsdale, 35-14, on Friday night.

Menlo senior quarterback Emilio Simbeck was 15-of-23 passing for 254 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for a score.

His favorite target was David Schmaier, who caught seven passes for 214 yards and a pair of scores.

"It felt great," Schmaier said. "I think this is the first game where we were clicking on all cylinders and really connecting. We've been throwing a lot after practice and I think that it showed a lot on the field."

Senior JH Tevis recorded three sacks and Schmaier added another as the Menlo defense held the Warriors to 177 total yards.

"In practice all week, we see all the sets, Schmaier said. "It's such a credit to coach Todd Smith because he goes over film for hours and hours."

Simbeck got Menlo on the board a minute into the game with his two-yard rush that culminated a four-play drive.

South SF tied the game soon after when quarterback Tyson Alipate scored on a keeper of his own.

Alipate, a safety on defense, was called for targeting on Menlo's next scoring drive, making him ineligible the rest of the way, a key blow for SSF.

Following Xavier Dickinson's 15-yard reception, Simbeck hit Schmaier in the left corner of the end zone for a 4-yard TD reception with 2:36 left in the first quarter.

Moments later, junior Dillon Grady forced a fumble that Dickinson recovered, setting up Kevin Chen's 3-yard catch for a touchdown with 12 seconds left for a 19-6 lead.

The Knights began to pull away in the second. Mixing in runs by Aidan Israelski with passes, Simbeck led Menlo to a long scoring drive, with the final 43 yards a reception by Schmaier.

Three minutes later, on one of Tevis' three sacks, Miles Dorosin recovered a fumble in the end zone for another touchdown.

After a 3-and-out, Menlo added three points on Grady's 28-yard field goal with 45 seconds left in the half, sending Menlo into intermission with a 35-6 lead.

In the third quarter, Menlo took over after another Tevis sack and this time, Simbeck found Dickinson for a 42-6 lead.

Menlo coach Mark Newton gave the ball to sophomore quarterback Kevin Alarcon the rest of the way. He was 3-of-4 for 46 yards, which included a three-yard touchdown pass to Landon Smith that was set up in part by Jake Shiff's 14-yard run.

Israelski finished with 33 yards receiving and 54 yards rushing.

"It's great that we've been able to get out to a good start because our league is not an easy league - there are some really good teams," Schmaier said.

Also in the Ocean Division, Woodside fell behind early and could never recover in a 49-6 loss to host The King's Academy on Friday night.

Junior quarterback Trevor Cook threw for 159 yards and a touchdown for the Wildcats (0-5, 0-2), who host South San Francisco at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Isaiah Henderson rushed for 54 of Woodside's 84 yards on the ground and Andres Villarreal caught three passes for 37 yards. Scott Morimoto caught passes of 34 and 35 yards.

Nick Donovan led the Wildcats with 10 tackles, seven solo.


Priory toppled host Trinity Christian, 78-26, in Mission Trail Athletic League 8-man football action on Saturday.

Priory (7-0, 2-0) averages 74.3 points a game this season, including nearly 30 points in the first quarter. Priory also averages over 400 total yards a contest.

Keyshawn Ashford has been Priory's top offensive threat, rushing for an average of 160 yards and averaging 182.5 total yards, or just under half of Priory's total offensive output. He also scores about four touchdowns a game.

Quarterback Adrian LaValle averages about 80.3 yards passing. Top defenders include Matt George and Erik Larson.

Priory has a bye this week before regrouping for the final two regular-season games at Anzar-San Juan Bautista on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. and at home against Pinewood on Friday, Oct. 27 in a game that will likely determine the regular-season title.

Priory has scored at least 60 points in every game except one, a 58-56 victory over Start Hall in week two.

Pinewood also remained undefeated in league play, beating host East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, 84-14, on Friday night.

The Panthers (4-1, 3-0) again received offensive production from quarterback Jaedan Bailey, who averages 177 total yards per game, including 141.3 passing.

Alex Dagman is Pinewood's top rusher, averaging 81 yards a game. Bo Fick averages 10.3 tackles for the Panthers, who host Riverdale Christian in a nonleague game on Friday at 3 p.m.

EPA Phoenix (0-5, 0-2), which averages 17.6 points a game, travels to Anzar for a league game next Saturday.

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