Palisades (4-0) Routs South Gate
Last year’s football game at South Gate weighed heavily on those who played for Palisades High. The Dolphins had a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter only to lose in the final two minutes, 32-31.
But a year later, this is a different PaliHi team—one with energy, talent and growing confidence. Last Friday night at home, the Dolphins outplayed South Gate, 24-0, to improve their season record to 4-0.
“Today was your best performance of the year,” head coach Tim Hyde told his players after the game. “It was a hell of a victory.”
Senior defensive back Will Janney, who returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, said afterwards, “We have a different energy, a different vibe than last season. I can’t wait to see how far this team goes.”
What’s different this season? The raw talent is definitely there, and Hyde summed it up best. “We have a brand-new staff, a new offense and a new defense,” he said. “We have a bunch of kids who like playing. They don’t have an ego.”
South Gate opened the game with an unexpected squibb kick, which Jared La Violette returned from the Pali 40 to the Rams’ 33. Six plays later, junior Max Palees scored from the six-yard line, and junior Tommy Meek kicked the extra point.
The game was only four minutes old.
Unable to move the ball on downs, South Gate punted and the Dolphins started a drive from their own 30. Palees carried twice to the South Gate 38, junior Adam Cravens ran for 12 yards and quarterback Daniel Hayes added five. After a Pali penalty, which pushed the ball back to the South Gate 32, Janney gained 14 yards and Palees added four more. At which point, Meek came on to kick a 25-yard field goal.
PaliHi’s defense continued to make it hard for the Rams to move the ball and forced another punt.
South Gate intercepted a pass with seven minutes left in the half, and advanced to Pali’s 17 before senior Jake Nadley intercepted a pass in the end zone.
The Rams took the second half kick-off and moved the ball downfield but were thwarted once again when Janney intercepted a pass at the Pali 15 and returned it to the 44.
This time, the Dolphins were stopped by a lost fumble, but regained possession following another South Gate punt. The offense then marched 90 yards for a second touchdown, with Hayes scoring from the three. The PAT was good, making the score 17-0.
With eight minutes remaining in the game, Janney’s interception and touchdown run accounted for the final points.
“This was a huge victory for us,” Palees said. “PaliHi has never been 4-0. A big shout out to the O line. Our hats are off to Coach Hyduke and the defense.”
Defensive coach Chris Hyduke, who was Hyde’s high school football coach at Redondo, was doused with water by his happy players after the game. This is the fourth year the coaches have worked together, and this year’s defense has allowed only 21 points in four games.
The Dolphins will face the Brentwood Eagles (3-0) on Saturday, September 15, a bye on September 21, and then will open Western League at home against Fairfax on September 28.