Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cougars Begin CCS Playoff Run at Home

It should be an exciting, evenly matched football game Saturday in Felton as the San Lorenzo Valley High School Cougars host the Menlo School Knights in the first round of the Div IV Central Coast Section Playoffs.   It’s the first home playoff game for the local boys since the 2006 season when they lost to Burlingame 27-26 after leading 26-8 in the fourth quarter.  (Sorry for that reminder.)

SLV, the Santa Cruz Athletic League Champion, has won 9 straight after dropping their season opener to Sacred Heart Prep 24-7.  They earned the #3 seed with a 6-0 league record, 9-1 overall.  Menlo, a #6 seed, won an at-large berth after finishing 4-1 in Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division and 7-3 overall.  The Knights played in the CCS Championship game last season, losing to Carmel 35-56 after beating SHP 20-14 and Greenfield 42-27.  The Cougars lost in the first round to SHP last year.

This season Menlo won a rematch with Div IV #1 seed Carmel 34-29 but were routed by #2 seed SHP 35-7 last week.  They also dropped games to Jefferson 14-13 (the #1 seed in Div III) and Hillsdale 13-9.  They beat Half Moon Bay (the #4 seed in Div IV) 40-22.  

Menlo will bring a potent offense that favors a passing attack led by 6’1, 173lb senior Robert Wickers who has thrown for over 2300 yards and 24 touchdowns.  His favorite receiver is #5, wide receiver Tim Benton (6’1, 185 ) who caught 58 passes for 1196 yards and 10 touchdowns. Benton also scored on a 84 yard kickoff return.  Running back/Linebacker #20 Beau Nichols (5’8”, 185) caught 27 passes along with averaging about 7 yards rushing on 108 carries.  Nichols has 16 touchdowns for the year and had four 100+ yard games.  The Knights ran for a total of 1184 yards on the season.

The Cougars feature a more balanced attack with plenty of their own play makers including  Quarterback Zach Newberry who threw for 1586 yards and 21 TD’s,and ran for 368 yards and 7 TD’s;  running back Nick Lipperd who had 1073 yards rushing and 7 TD’s, and receivers Nick Gorman, 33 catches and 12 TD’s; and Luke Roberts 23 passes and 6 TD’s.  SLV also got contributions from Tyler Gilbert, Jonny Cooper and Logan Kellogg along with great line play on both sides of the ball. Kicker James Connelly has also come up big this year.

Both teams have limited opponents scoring to just over 15 points per game while SLV has scored an average 31.2 points and Menlo has put up an average 30.9.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1PM.  The winner will advance to the second round and face either Seaside or Sacred Heart Prep.

History and statistics will play no part in the outcome, however a large turnout of local supporters could ensure the home field advantage - just don't leave early.

1 comment:

JC said...

John Reid in the Palo Alto Daily News: CCS Div. IV -- No. 6 Menlo School-Atherton at No. 3 San Lorenzo Valley-Felton, Saturday, 1 p.m.: Knights went back to drawing board after SHP loss, but absence of standout DE Brad Eckert to injury too much for Menlo to overcome on road. Prediction: SLV 35-32 Link: http://goo.gl/SGuyH

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