Senior Ty Corley records one of Menlo's five sacks on the day in a stellar defensive effort. Photo by Cynthia Yock.
By Casey Kline
Menlo defeated the King’s Academy (TKA) 28-0, as the defense thrived as a whole and senior running back Aidan Israelski ran for three touchdowns.
The Knights came into their game against TKA hoping to rebound from a 29-14 loss to Palma. King's Academy was coming off of four straight losses, most recently losing to Aragon 38-24.
Menlo started the game off strong, driving down the field on a series of runs by Israelski. Israelski’s runs were highlighted by a hurdle of a King’s Academy defender for a 10-yard gain. Israelski capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown reception off a pass from senior quarterback Emilio Simbeck less than halfway through the first quarter.
Menlo’s next strong drive began late in the first quarter. Menlo methodically moved the ball down the field and got down to the 13-yard line. Menlo then called Israelski’s number on a handoff, and he ran through multiple King’s defenders to score his second touchdown of the game.
On King’s Academy’s next drive, senior linebacker David Schmaier recorded the first of Menlo’s five sacks. Schmaier’s sack forced King’s Academy to punt. On the next play, senior Aidan Israelski juked out a TKA safety and outran the rest of the King’s defense for a 72-yard touchdown. Israelski’s third touchdown of the day put Menlo up 21-0 before halftime.
After Menlo kicked off and TKA got the ball back, Menlo’s defense came out making plays. On King’s Academy’s first play with the ball, Menlo senior safety Brody LaPorte tackled the opponents’ running back for a loss. On the next play Menlo’s junior defensive tackle Brian Mhatre ran through King’s Academy’s left guard and sacked the quarterback for an eight-yard loss.
The second half went by somewhat uneventfully, with the only points coming from a three-yard touchdown pass from Simbeck to Menlo’s senior tight end Xavier Dickinson.
Israelski finished his massive game with 17 rushes for 184 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Israelski added three receptions for 34 yards and a receiving touchdown and five total tackles.
Junior Brian Mhatre and seniors Schmaier, Silas Stewart, Baily Deeter, and Ty Corley each recorded one sack. Deeter had a total of 13 tackles, three of which went for loss, including the sack and a forced fumble. Senior Brody Laporte finished with five total tackles and an interception.
“I thought we really came out firing in all facets of the game,” junior Kevin Chen said. “Obviously Aidan Israelski had an amazing game, but I really believe this was an amazing team win. We will definitely carry this momentum throughout league.”
Menlo’s next game is at South San Francisco High School on Friday.