70-yard TD puts Menlo-Atherton into ti­tle con­test

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - FOOTBALL - By Mitch Stephens MaxPreps se­nior writer Mitch Stephens cov­ers high school sports for The San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle.

A 320-mile drive and early deficit against an un­de­feated squad looked a lit­tle omi­nous for the Menlo-Atherton foot­ball squad on Fri­day night in McKin­leyville.

But then the state’s top-rated sopho­more player, Troy Franklin, took over.

When Eu­reka re­sponded to tie the game late, Franklin came to the res­cue again.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound re­ceiver took a hand­off from Jack Alexan­der and ex­ploded off the left side for a 70-yard touch­down, his third score of the night, with 8:06 re­main­ing to lift Menlo-Atherton to a 27-20 CIF Di­vi­sion 3-AA North­ern Cal­i­for­nia Bowl ti­tle win over Eu­reka.

The Bears (12-2) now will host Lin­coln-San Diego (11-4) in next week’s ti­tle game.

Eu­reka had tied the game 20-20 with an 80-yard drive, covert­ing two fourth-down plays, capped by a 6-yard touch­down keeper from Cruz Mon­tana with 8:20 re­main­ing. The ex­tra point was missed.

Then, on Menlo-Atherton’s first play on the en­su­ing drive, Franklin broke two arm tack­les and was gone, sprint­ing the fi­nal 50 yards un­touched.

Ear­lier, Franklin erased a 7-0 Eu­reka lead with a 69-yard catch and run on a pass from Alexan­der to tie the game at 7-7.

A 31-yard pass from Alexan­der to Justin An­der­son set up Franklin’s sec­ond score, a 14-yarder to give the Bears a 14-7 lead. De­ston Hawkins made it 20-7 mid­way through the sec­ond quar­ter with a 5yard TD run and Menlo-Atherton looked in com­mand.

But Eu­reka (12-1) fought back, first on a 10-yard pass from Mon­tana to Is­ley Tel­mau, to close to 20-14 with 7:34 left in the third. Then Mon­tana faked an in­side hand­off to Robert Weir (150 yards rush­ing, one touch­down), and sprinted around the left side to tie the game at 20-20.

Fol­low­ing Franklin’s third touch­down, the Menlo-Atherton de­fense had to hold three times down the stretch. Del Oro-Loomis 14, St. Fran­cis 13: For the sec­ond straight week, West Catholic Ath­letic League cham­pion St. Fran­cis dropped a one-point de­ci­sion, this one in the NorCal Di­vi­sion 2-AA cham­pi­onship game in Loomis.

Quar­ter­back Car­son Jar­ratt lofted a per­fect 13-yard touch­down pass to Matt Smart with 58 sec­onds left, lift­ing Del Oro (13-1) back from a 13-0 deficit.

On the en­su­ing kick­off, Evan Wil­liams re­turned the ball 55 yards to the Del Oro 44. But after one first down, Daw­son Hurst in­ter­cepted a des­per­a­tion pass near the end zone to seal it.

Opeti Fan­gupo and An­dre Bishop com­bined for over 200 rush­ing yards for St. Fran­cis. Jar­ratt com­pleted eight passes for 247 yards, nearly all of that com­ing in the fourth quar­ter.

St. Fran­cis kicker Michael La­hey booted field goals of 32 and 26 yards in the first half to give St. Fran­cis a 6-0 lead at the break.

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