Richardson crosses the fifteen yard line on his way to the endzone. “Coach [Barry McLaughlin], the new offensive line coach, introduced us to a new return,” Richardson said, “Thankfully my teammates [executed it].” Staff Photo by Lexi Friesel.
The Menlo Knights football team defeated North Salinas 47-7 in a season-opening blowout on Saturday, August 27. In the team’s first game since 2019 without record-setting quarterback Sergio Beltran (‘22), the team proved that they could remain dominant with their ensemble of highly-rated talents.
On the opening kickoff, senior Ty Richardson ran 86 yards for a kick return touchdown. “[The touchdown] was definitely a momentum pusher, it got everyone’s confidence up” Richardson said.
His touchdown was only the beginning of an extremely successful half. The Knights proved to be a force on both sides of the ball. On defense, senior Chris Liao intercepted a pass to put the team in scoring position. Senior Charlie King and junior Parker Brown also forced fumbles en route to the Knights preventing any first downs from scrimmage in the first half.
On offense, the Knights made their way into the end zone four times in the first quarter and three times in the second quarter. Senior Cort Halsey had three receiving touchdowns while Richardson and King each had one. Senior Ross Muchnick converted all his extra point attempts.
Senior Jake Bianchi lined up behind center for the first time as Menlo’s starting varsity quarterback, throwing four touchdowns and rushing in two. Bianchi finished the game with 206 passing yards, completing 11/12 passes. “For the two [read option] touchdowns, the opportunity presented itself,” Bianchi said.
The offensive unit’s success can also be attributed to several key blocks made by the offensive line. “During practice we watched film so we were prepared” senior Aidan Zhou said. “We also were able to adjust in game to what they brought.”
During the second half, the Knights retained their lead and only gave up one touchdown to the Vikings to end the game with a final score of 47-7. “This was not our best football,” Bianchi said. “But the scoreboard shows what we can do against better teams.” The Knights will stay at home next week to play The Kings’ Academy on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 2 p.m.
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