Nov. 4 marks the 20th meeting between the Menlo and Sacred Heart football programs in the annual Valpo Bowl. The teams will meet at 7 P.M. in the final regular season game before playoffs.
The Knights are coming off a 21-7 playoff-clinching win against Burlingame High School last Thursday. On the other side, Sacred Heart looks to build on its current eight game winning streak. The Gators are coming off a 35-14 win against Menlo-Atherton that secured the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division title.
In the past five years, Sacred Heart holds a 4-1 record against Menlo. Menlo’s lone win came from last season’s 18-15 victory at Cartan Field. This year, however, the Gators will hold the home field advantage.
Both schools boast offensive stars that demand additional focus. For Sacred Heart, senior running back Andrew Latu has over 500 yards on the season and five touchdowns. In the passing game, senior wide receiver Carter Shaw is averaging 16.8 yards per catch and has over 300 yards in total.
The Knights operate heavily around versatile senior Ty Richardson; both a wide receiver and running back, Richardson has racked up over 750 total yards of offense. Another central component, senior tight end Cort Halsey, a University of North Carolina commit, has totaled over 400 receiving yards this season. Halsey looks to make a big impact in the game to round out the regular season. “They just won [the Bay League] and we need to make a statement. Most of their starters are our friends, and we’ve been playing with each other for three years.” Halsey said.
Fellow senior wide receiver Charlie King, with over 320 receiving yards this season, is also excited for his final Valpo Bowl game. “Every year since sixth grade when we won Valpo with guys like JH Tevis and Evan King, I’ve dreamed about my senior year and the idea of potentially sharing the same feeling that they did when we stormed the field that day,” King said. “The bragging rights of owning Valpo will be off the charts.”
Richardson looks to feed off the excitement for the game. “Valpo is always a staple in the football season, and something that every player looks forward to especially,” Richardson said. “The game gets the best fan turnout from both schools.”
Not only are the bragging rights of the game important, but all proceeds go to Peninsula Bridge, a non-profit organization that helps motivated low-income students prepare for college and future success.