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Menlo-Atherton lost to what could be the best team on its schedule on Friday afternoon, falling to visiting Los Gatos 35-7 in a nonleague football contest.
The Bears (0-2) broke the shutout on a 19-yard pass play from Robby Beardsley to Chase DelRosso with 6:06 minutes to play. It was the first TD of the season for the Bears, who scored only three points in the season opener.
“I hope we got better,” Menlo-Atherton football coach Sione Ta’ufo’ou said. “Los Gatos is a very good team with great running backs. They play hard and they’re disciplined. I hope us playing teams of that nature, we turn into a team like that.”
The Bears did a pretty good job of controlling Wildcats star back Joey Wood, who finished with 81 yards on 15 carries. Wood was a brute, however, when it came to smelling the goal line, scoring on runs of 3, 11 and 8 yards. Wood also caught a screen pass in the right flat from quarterback Dru Brown, cutting back across the grain for a 45-yard gain. That set up a fourth TD for the Wildcats, who scored with 48 seconds to play in the first half.
Brown completed 14 of 17 for 186 yards and no interceptions. Brown had touchdown passes of 3 and 12 yards to Miles Beach.
“We were trying to stop their run game because Joey (Wood) starts their offense,” Ta’ufo’ou said. “He runs hard and you have to gang tackle him. Their quarterback made plays. He was impressive. He was a good quarterback.”
One of the few highlights for the Bears was a 40-yard kickoff return by Cole Shaffer midway through the second period. Shaffer was brought down by the final defender at the 50-yard line. The Bears made a first down on an 11-yard pass from Beardsley to Shaffer. Hard-running fullback Stavro Papadakis powered his way for a 10-yard gain to the Los Gatos 29. Papadakis recovered his own fumble for a 3-yard loss. Beardsley was sacked for a 5-yard loss, then threw an incomplete pass and the Bears were forced to punt. Beardsley made good on 9 of 15 pass attempts for 87 yards.
The Bears’ lone touchdown drive was set up when a hard hit forced a Los Gatos fumble. The ball rolled a ways and Ezequiel Galvan-Navarro recovered on the M-A 17 right before the end of the third quarter.
Playing with a running clock, the Bears went 11 plays for the score. DelRosso caught a 10-yard pass, then Marcus Moimoi ran for 9 yards. A 14-yard pass to DelRosso got the ball to the Wildcats’ 43-yard line. Moimoi, who rushed for 30 yards on seven carries, peeled off a 12-yard run. Beardsley hit Papadakis for a 10-yard gain, then Tyrique Johnson rushed for 11 yards. Two plays later, Beardsley found DelRosso in the left flat. DelRosso got the sideline on his way to paydirt.
The Wildcats received the opening kickoff and nearly fumbled the ball away. The ball was loose for some time, but the Bears couldn’t catch up to it. On M-A’s first possession, a bad exchange caused a fumble and the Wildcats’ Nick Kryvicky recovered, setting up the second TD for Los Gatos.
Los Gatos 14 14 7 0 — 35
Menlo-Atherton 0 0 0 7 — 7
LG — Beach 12 pass from Brown (Sedgwick kick)
LG — Wood 3 run (Sedgwick kick)
LG — Beach 3 pass from Brown (Sedgwick kick)
LG — Wood 11 run (Sedgwick kick)
LG — Wood 8 run (Sedgwick kick)
MA — DelRosso 19 pass from Beardsley (Calderon kick)
Records: Los Gatos 2-0, Menlo-Atherton 0-2
Article by John Reid staff writer for San Jose Mercury News
Photo by Bob Dahlberg