Menlo clinches league title w/ win vs undefeated Hillsdale

Menlo's captains for the week walk to center field for the coin toss. Menlo defeated Hillsdale in the game, 33-10. Staff photo: Casey Kline.

By Casey Kline

Menlo defeated the Hillsdale Fighting Knights 33-10 behind a dominant performance by senior quarterback Emilio Simbeck and by Menlo’s defense.

Menlo came into the game riding high off of a 51-6 win over Woodside, and undefeated in league play. Hillsdale came into the game undefeated not only in league, but for the entire year.

Hillsdale running back Nick Hulman came into the game averaging 172 rushing yards per game. Menlo’s run defense held Hulman to just 58 yards on 22 carries.

Menlo’s quarterback Emilio Simbeck entered the game against Hillsdale after missing the previous week’s homecoming game due to an emergency tonsillectomy. He picked apart the Hillsdale defense which had previously allowed 135 passing yards per game. Simbeck completed 17 of his 25 passes for 264 yards and four passing touchdowns in the best game of his varsity career.

Simbeck got help from senior receivers David Schmaier and Landon Smith. Schmaier caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns, along with an interception. Smith caught nine passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns, adding five tackles as a safety.

Junior lineman Mafi Latu stepped up for the Knights in place of their injured H-back. “It was a great experience filling the shoes of the injured Xavier Lesean Dickinson. I understand now what it means to be a decoy and have a team-first mindset,” Latu said, “I was opening lanes for Schmaier and Landon to score some touchdowns. Our quarterback threw some spot-on balls.” Latu said.

Menlo will take on Sacred Heart Prep this Friday in the Valparaiso Bowl at Foothill College. Kickoff is at 7pm.

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