Dolphins Lose to Venice 60-14

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Quarterback Roman La Scala runs the ball.

It was supposed to be a good game against the Western League leaders, both 4-0, both vying for the championship, and the opportunity to play in the Open Division of the city playoffs.

Palisades was first on the score board. Seven minutes in the first quarter, Venice punted from its own end zone. The ball landed on the 35-yard line and Amari Yolas ran it in for a touchdown.  The PAT by Kellan Ford was good.

Venice quarterback Paul Kessler (220 lbs. 6’5”) a senior, who is averaging 195.4 passing yards per game, made a spectacular pass from his own 10-yard line to the Palisades 35 and two minutes later the score was tied.

Palisades only other score came with a minute left in the first quarter, when quarterback Roman LaScala faked to Christopher Washington and ran it in from the Venice two-yard line. The PAT was good.

It only took Venice twenty seconds to respond with two passes from Kessler and the quarter ended tied.

Then Palisades called it a day, as Venice “stepped on the gas.”

The Goldoliers scored three touchdowns in the second, and two in the third and two in the fourth quarter.

Kessler had 14 completions for 331 yards. Running back Robert Lamar had 16 carries and 218 yards with one touchdown and Rashawn Jackson had five receptions, 159 yards and two touchdowns

“We ran into a really good football team tonight and we weren’t ready for them,” Palisades coach Chris Hyduke told his players after the game.  “They kicked our butts all over the field. They were a good team, but they shouldn’t have won 60-14.

“Come Monday, the slate is clean, we can still win a championship,” he said.

Hyduke told Circling the News, “We didn’t play that well, there was no competition, it was like they were scared and not having fun.”

Palisades, which has competed in the open division previously (it was started in 2017 and there were no playoffs in 2020 because of Covid), will be in Division One playoffs this year.

The Dolphins are ranked third, and in the first round will play at home against the 14-ranked Huntington Park on November 4. Granada Hills is ranked first in the 16-team division.

Venice, which is ranked second in the eight-team open division, will face Birmingham, the two-time defending champions on November 10. This year San Pedro is undefeated and ranked first. Last year Birmingham beat San Pedro 24-14.

According to the L.A. Times Eric Sondheimer “The most influential game of the regular season turned out to be on Sept. 1 when San Pedro defeated Venice 20-7. Venice has since won seven consecutive games, including a 60-14 win over Palisades on Friday night.

“‘We definitely had our best game of the year in our last regular-season game, and every coach likes that,’ Venice coach Angelo Gasca said.”

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