SUNNYVALE — Peter Lavorato, in his first year coaching football at The King’s Academy, had a reverse déjà vu of sorts as the Knights opened their season at home against McClymonds of Oakland.
The Warriors, who won the CIF Division V-AA state title last season, avenged a loss to Lavorato from nearly two years ago with a convincing 56-19 win.
Lavorato, then coaching at Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton, routed McClymonds by a nearly identical score of 56-20 in the Div. III-A NorCal title game in December of 2015.
McClymonds (1-0) put on an impressive display of speed and power, led by running back Jamar Julien, who rushed for 176 yards on 12 carries, scoring on touchdown runs of 10, 2 and 62 yards. Julien, a transfer from Oak Grove in San Jose, called it a night after a half.
“They’re not just big, but their big and strong,” said Lavorato of his opponent. “They’re athletes and they’re fast. They’re really well-coached. They are the real deal.”
The Warriors rushed for 350 yards as a team, getting 63 yards on seven carries from quarterback Emoreea Fountain, who found the end zone on runs of 1, 39 and 11 yards. Leading the way was massive right tackle Amani Trigg-Wright, who has four Division I offers, according to McClymonds coach Michael Peters, in his fourth season.
The Knights (0-1) relied on hard-nosed running back Demonte Aleem, who powered his way for 163 yards on 13 carries. Aleem had his paws in all three of TKA’s touchdowns. He began the night with a 79-yard TD gallop, bouncing off a would-be tackler in the backfield before catching the TKA sideline on his way to paydirt.
After McClymonds responded with a score to tie the game, Aleem took a pitch to the right, then threw the ball to Bralyn Lux, who was wide open for a 28-yard TD completion. With the second half played under a running clock, Aleem scored on a 68-yard burst with 9:42 left in the game.
“Aleem is a good running back,” Peters said. “He runs really well.”
The Warriors have a handful of players receiving college interest.
One is speedster Charles Alberty, who had two kickoff returns for touchdowns, though only one counted. Alberty began the second half with a 99-yard return, putting the Warriors up 46-20. The first time he touched the ball, Alberty went 86 yards on a kick return, but the play was nullified due to an illegal block penalty. On the next play, Julien had a 35-yard touchdown run called back after a holding call.
It was the first start for TKA quarterback Christopher Boccignone. The senior was 7 of 14 for 121 yards, getting intercepted by Alberty, who showed his athleticism with the pick. Boccignone’s best ball was a 45-yard pass completion to wideout Tyler Farnham, who had three grabs for 70 yards.
TKA had three turnovers, coughing up a couple of fumbles.
“We were just trying to fight through it,” Aleem said. “It was hard. We’re going to put in a lot of extra work to get better.”
“I don’t know what is going to happen this year,” Lavorato said. “We’re going to the best we can. We’re trying to be the best small school football team we can be. The kids are learning my system. It’s totally different than what Coach (Mike) Johnson ran here before. It will take time.”
As for Peters, he wasn’t ready to predict back-to-back state championships.
“I’m just taking it one game at a time,” Peters said.
McClymonds 20 20 13 3 — 56
The King’s Academy 12 0 0 7 — 19
TKA — Aleem 79 run (kick failed), 11:38
M — Julien 10 run (run failed), 6:07
TKA — Lux 28 pass from Aleem (run failed), 4:14
M — Fountain 1 run (Woods from Fountain), 3:39
M — Julien 2 run (kick failed), :50
M — Fountain 39 run (kick failed), 10:54
M — Julien 62 run (Fountain run), 3:21
M — Edgerly 63 pass from Fountain (kick failed), 1:18
M — Alberty 99 kickoff return (kick failed), 11:55
M — Fountain 11 run (Alomaisi kick), :05
TKA — Aleem 68 run (Sielski kick), 9:42
M — FG Alomaisi 31, 2:19
RUSHING—McClymonds, Julien 12-176, Fountain 7-63, Alexander 6-64, Huruma 1-(-3), Gardner Jr. 3-48, Ransom 1-1, Montr. Smith 4-1. The King’s Academy, Aleem 13-163, Boccignone 4-16, Frazier 4-16, Lux 2-(-2).
PASSING—McClymonds, Fountain 2-3-0 102. The King’s Academy, Boccignone 7-14-1 121, Aleem 1-1-0 28. Totals 8-15-1 149.
RECEIVING—McClymonds, Johnson 1-39, Edgerly 1-63. The King’s Academy, Farnham 3-70, Lux 2-44, Kiehle 2-27.
Records: McClymonds 1-0, The King’s Academy 0-1.
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