The Menlo Knights (1-1, 3-3) defeated the visiting Carlmont Scots (0-1, 3-3) 23 – 17 at Menlo’s Cartan Field on Friday night. The Scots took control early in the game after Scot linebacker Si’i Tengei tackled Menlo quarterback Kevin Alarcon as Alarcon reached Carlmont’s red zone. Tengei’s bruising tackle forced Alarcon out of the game temporarily. Then pressure from Scot defensive lineman Steven Talaina stopped Alarcon’s replacement from completing a pass on a crucial 4th and 9 play, and the Knights turned the ball over on downs. Carlmont took over on offense and marched 74 yards to cap their drive with Carlmont running back Sean McKenna’s 13 yard burst into the end zone. In the 2nd quarter, with a 4th and 3 at Carlmont’s 7 yard line, aggressive line play by Scot defensive tackle Nabeeh Shamieh prevented the Knights from converting on a 4th down pass and Menlo turned the ball over again. However, late in the 2nd quarter, Menlo engineered a 50 yard drive which ended with a 1 yard TD plunge by Alarcon with 2:26 remaining in the first half. At halftime, the teams were tied with 7 points apiece.
Carlmont seized the initiative again at the beginning of the second half when Scot fullback Si’i Tengei returned a Knights’ kickoff 73 yards to the Menlo 25 yard line. Two minutes later, Carlmont’s other stellar fullback Dane Fifita scored on 1 yard run while dragging Menlo defenders with him across the goal line. Menlo responded with an 82 yard drive punctuated by a 19 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kevin Alarcon to Knight wide receiver Jaden Richardson. In the 3rd quarter, with the score tied at 14 – 14, Menlo appeared to have stalled on their own 24 yard line. The Knights lined up in punt formation, but Menlo’s Justin Sellers took a direct snap from center and raced 19 yards for a Menlo first down. Eight plays later, Knight running back Samson Axe scored on a 9 yard run for the go ahead score. Even though Carlmont gave up 2 points with a safety later in the 4th quarter, they kept their comeback hopes alive with a late drive that featured a 23 yard slashing run by Scot Si’i Tengei which crossed the midfield stripe into Menlo’s territory, and Scot wide receiver Wes Brown’s leaping grab of a Timothy Netane 24 yard pass that moved the ball into Menlo’s red zone. Four plays later, with less than a minute on the clock, Scot kicker Gino Bonetti pushed a field goal attempt that ricocheted off the right upright then struck the crossbar before landing on the other side of the goal post for a 24 yard field goal. The Scots needed one last shot at the end zone to win the game, but comeback plans were dashed when Menlo recovered Carlmont’s onside kick.
CHS Q1 0:16 S. McKenna 13 run (G. Bonetti kick)
MS Q2 2:26 K. Alarcon 1 run (S. Garcia-Mendez kick)
CHS Q3 9:47 D. Fifita 1 run (G. Bonetti kick)
MS Q3 8:49 J. Richardson 19 pass from K. Alarcon (S. Garcia-Mendez kick)
MS Q4 10:23 S. Axe 9 run (S. Garcia-Mendez kick)
MS Q4 8:26 Safety – CHS fumble out of end zone
CHS Q4 0:56 G. Bonetti 24 FG