Sometimes on the football field, you witness a performance that demands the spotlight even when the week leading up to the contest, it had been focused elsewhere.
Those who went to watch the clash between Terra Nova and Menlo School last Friday in Atherton were gifted with such a moment. The build up leading toward the first of the very important matchups atop the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division focused around a pair of great quarterbacks who came in averaging more than 310 yards passing a game apiece.
Preview pieces wrote about receivers running all over the field, giving the respective secondaries nightmares.
And while those two figures did not disappoint and combined for more than 800 yards passing, the man responsible for landing the opening salvo in what will be a great race for the division’s crown was Terra Nova running back John Wallace.
Yes of course, the Tigers can beat you through the air. But rest assured (or terrified) that if you sleep on the Terra Nova running back, Wallace will haunt you come game day.
“[Wallace] is an outstanding running back,” said Terra Nova coach Bill Gray after the 44-25 win. “We’ve known that all along. We thought we could exert our dominance at the line of scrimmage.”
And that the Tigers did. Wallace had a day’s worth of stats in the first half alone as he rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns. But he didn’t stop there. By the end of the 48 minute battle with the Knights, No. 4 had gashed them for a season-high 273 yards and five trips to the Promised Land.
For this efforts, Wallace is the San Mateo Daily Journal Athlete of the Week.
Wallace’s career day began with his 4-yard run on Terra Nova’s first drive that tied the game at 7. On the Tigers’ next possession, Wallace lined up in the Wildcat formation on fourth and inches, took the snap and bolted 70 yards to put the Tigers up 14-13. He then capped his first half with a 5-yard plunge to put his team up 22-19.
Come the second half, with the Terra Nova defense bending and not breaking, Wallace went to work adding distance between his team and the Knights.
He gained 115 more yards and scored two more touchdowns in the second half to put the game away. In the third quarter, he scored from 19 yards out and then capped his impressive performance with an exclamation point, going 62 yards for the final score of the game on the second play of the fourth quarter.