Menlo School Athletics
Menlo School Athletics
Menlo running back Travis Chambers scored three touchdowns during the Knights’ 47-6 win over Half Moon Bay Friday afternoon.
For all the ink the Menlo School football offense gets, head coach Mark Newton and the rest of the Knights know if they’re truly going to be competitive in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division this season, it’s the defense that will carry them.
And so on Friday afternoon against a confident Half Moon Bay team, Menlo showed they aren’t just a one-trick pony. Behind what Newton called a heroic effort on defense, the Knights took down the Cougars 47-6.
“Our defense was awesome today,” Newton said. “I mean, that’s a very good team. [Jonathan Bali] is a great back. Their line is always tough. They’re well coached in the stuff they do. And they absolutely took it to South City which gave us a lot of concern. So, our defensive lineman and linebackers did an awesome job. Our coaches did an incredible job preparing them too.”
You can say that, with the exception of one 16-play drive that resulted in the lone Cougar touchdown, the Knights darn near dominated. In that first half, having put up 34 points behind Jack Heneghan and Travis Chambers, Half Moon Bay only ran an additional nine plays — a couple of which resulted in turnovers.
“There was (momentum) but it wasn’t consistent,” said Half Moon Bay head coach Keith Holden. “Against a football team like that, you have to be consistent. You can’t just play for 16 plays. You have to stay the whole game.”
By the time the Cougars got on the board (on a Matt Spigelman touchdown), Heneghan had already done his thing. And with the ink his arm gets, it was his legs on Friday that had a huge day.
Heneghan began the day by taking the third snap from scrimmage and bolting for a 52-yard touchdown run. Two minutes later, after a Half Moon Bay turnover, he hooked up with Graham Stratford to make it 14-0. Then, after another fumble, Heneghan took advantage of a short field and found Chambers on the flat for a 3-yard score to run the score up to 21-0.
“I think the difference is they have a really good quarterback,” Holden said. “He’s very accurate. We knew he was going to be very good and he was as advertised. Offensively, we didn’t execute the way that we wanted to. We were hoping to keep it close and it didn’t happen. We turned it over a bunch and that kid (Heneghan) makes you pay.
“You can’t give that kid a short field. Obviously, he’s pretty good even with a long field, so that didn’t help us at all.”
As it turned out, Heneghan made the Cougar pay a bunch. In the air, he taxed them for 194 yards — an off-day by Heneghan standards perhaps. But he made up for it on the ground, where he ran for 128 yards.
“They were playing a lot of man outside and they were dogging their backers in the middle a great deal,” Newton said. “So it didn’t help to run inside too much. But we had runs outside because our receivers were taking their defensive backs and running with them.”
After Half Moon Bay scored to make it 21-6, it was Heneghan again on the ground from eight yards out with 5:24 left in the half making it 28-6. And before the half was through, Heneghan and Chambers would make beautiful end zone music one more time — this time, from 19 yards away.
Chambers had a great day as well. No. 5 added a dazzling 45-yard touchdown up the Half Moon Bay sideline to his resume for the day. That score came after Heneghan found the end zone one more time on the ground from 14 yards away.