For the majority of the past few years, Wilcox and Menlo-Atherton have been two of the top public high schools when it comes to football. The two teams met in the CCS Open Division Championship back in 2018 when the Bears stormed back to win 33-28, outscoring Wilcox 19-0 in the fourth quarter. The Chargers got revenge the following year in 2019, winning a first-round CCS matchup with Menlo-Atherton in overtime, 42-35.
In the years since those epic battles, Wilcox has maintained an elite football program under Head Coach Paul Rosa. Menlo-Atherton on the other hand has seen its elite status disappear. The Bears finished under .500 last season and are now 2-4 on the season this year after the Chargers handed them a 41-3 thrashing on their home field.
Wilcox, still known for its vaunted rushing attack out of the veer formation, racked up nearly 300 yards rushing. The Chargers finished with 298 yards on the ground, doing so with a healthy variety of runners.
Elijah Walker led the way with 98 yards on 16 carries, but five other runners went for over 20 yards, including Jamontay Amataga who picked up 78 yards on seven carries and quarterback Tyson Bonilla who scampered for 44 yards on his seven carries.
As per usual, Wilcox didn’t pass much in this game, with Bonilla completing just four passes in six attempts. However, it was Bonilla’s connection on two passes to senior classmate Will Ruff that impressed the most.
The Chargers actually punted on its opening series and it was a touchdown pass from Bonilla to Ruff that opened the scoring on Wilcox’s second drive of the game. On a third-and-12 play from just outside the red zone at the Bears’ 22-yard line, Bonilla took the snap and rolled to his left before finding Ruff just inside the side of the endzone. Ruff caught the ball in stride at full speed and toe tapped to make sure he got a foot in bounds for the touchdown.
“It was definitely an impressive throw, [Bonilla] got outside the pocket and then it was a pretty tight window,” praised coach Rosa on the opening touchdown. “It was the right decision on the route that we called but being close to the sideline made it a tougher throw than I thought it would be and then Ruff made a really nice catch keeping the one foot in bounds.”
The two seniors connected again later in the first half on a quick pass that was released before Ruff even had a chance to turn for the ball. Once he did though the ball was perfectly placed on his numbers by Bonilla for another in-stride catch.
“We’ve been building chemistry since the offseason,” chimed Ruff on the connection with his quarterback. “I’ve known him for a couple years now. He’s a good friend of mine and we’ve been locked in for a while now.”
“We’ve put in a lot of work at practice and even off the field too,” added Bonilla on the developing chemistry with Ruff. “Just making sure that we are tightly knit together and on the same page.”
At this point, all the Chargers appear to be on the same page, having won four of the team’s past five games. Wilcox will look to add the next chapter to the win column when it takes on Burlingame on Friday, October 13.