2017 Valparaiso Bowl preview

Senior JH Tevis brings down the Woodside quarterback in Menlo’s homecoming victory earlier this season. Tevis, a three year varsity starter, two year captain and two-way starter, will play a large role come Friday night in Menlo’s conquest of a second straight Valpo Bowl. Staff photo by Bella Scola.

By Sam Fortenbaugh

The annual Valpo bowl features the Menlo Knights, who are currently 6-2, against their cross town rival Sacred Heart Prep, who are currently 2-6, on Friday November 3 at 7:30 at Foothill College. Sacred Heart’s strength of schedule has been tougher overall as they play in the PAL Bay division, and Menlo plays in the lower PAL Ocean division, yet Menlo beat a Hillsdale team who beat Sacred Heart. That is their only common opponent thus far.

The win vs Hillsdale for the Knights came last Friday night by a score of 33-10 in a hostile environment at Hillsdale. That win clinched them a share of the league title and a Central Coast Section playoff berth. They are looking to ride their momentum through into the game this week and beyond.

The Knights have enjoyed the return of starting quarterback senior Emilio Simbeck who completed 68% of his 25 passes and threw for 264 yards and four touchdowns. Menlo’s air raid will look for another strong game with starting running back senior Aidan Israelski injured; however, junior Dillon Grady has done a nice job filling his shoes racking up 161 rushing yards in the past two games.

Senior David Schmaier leads the team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns with 25 receptions, 582 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns.

Two way starting seniors Xavier Dickinson and Brody LaPorte will not be able to play on Friday, nursing shoulder and head injuries respectively.

Menlo has shown a balanced attack thus far, and averages 189.6 passing yards and 122.3 rushing yards per game. They will need to lean on both if they hope light up the scoreboard come Friday night.

The Knights defense has been lead by senior John Henry Tevis with 28 tackles for losses and 13 sacks. Senior Cooper Stewart is also a stud on the defensive line with ten tackles for losses and six sacks. Senior linebacker Baily Deeter leads the team with 58 total tackles and two fumbles forced. Grady leads the team in interceptions with six.

The forecast lists a possibility of rain, which could be a factor in the game flow, but spirit and energy around the game will be high regardless.

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