The undefeated Palisades High School football team crushed University 55-0 last Friday at home and is now 7-0 for the season and 2-0 in Western League action.
Head Coach Chris Hyduke said that going into the match, he had two goals: 1) win the game and (2) come away with no injuries. Check and check.
“We accomplished both of those,” he said, “and now we have some battles coming up.”
This Friday, the Dolphins travel to play Hamilton, which is 6-0 for the season and tied for the league lead. It’s a homecoming game for the Yankees, so Hyduke is expecting a challenge.
After Hamilton, Pali will play two traditional rivals, Fairfax and Westchester. “They give us good games,” Hyduke said. “We had fun this game (against University); next we’re back to business.”
Last Friday, the Dolphins received the opening kickoff and quickly scored on a 20-yard pass play from sophomore quarterback Sammy Silvia to senior Moses Ross. Senior Giovanni Ferrero kicked the PAT.
The second Pali touchdown came after 6-3 senior Johnny Babala blocked a punt, setting the Dolphins up at Uni’s 35. Sophomore Kwazi Estes then caught a pass in the endzone, and Ferrero’s PAT was good.
An interception by junior Marcus Brown saw him run from Uni’s 40 to score for Pali. The PAT was good.
Following a Uni punt, the Dolphins drove 53 yards for another touchdown. Silva completed a 28-yard pass to Xavier Smith, and after a run by Daniel Anoh, the team’s leading rusher, Silvia passed to Xavier Smith for the touchdown and the PAT was good.
The final touchdown of the first half came on a 12-yard run by Anoh, and the PAT made the score 35-0.
The Yankees received the second-half kickoff but couldn’t move the ball, and Dolphins took over on their own 48. Silva quickly passed to Ross, who ran all the way for the touchdown. He ended the game with 27 catches and 682 receiving yards this season.
When Uni gambled on a fourth-down play and failed to get the first down, Pali took possession on the Wildcats 20. Silva passed to Estes, then handed off to Barret Gordon for the TD.
After University punted once again, the Dolphins drove down field and Josh Russell ran for the touchdown. The night’s final PAT was good.
Silvia, who stepped in as the starting quarterback at the Brentwood game after senior Dylan Hassid broke a bone in his leg at the end of the Reseda game, said Friday, “I’m getting a lot more confident.” He finished the game with four TD passes and completed 11 of 12 passes for 193 yards.
Because of Covid, this is Silva’s first year of high school football. The Westside resident earlier played Pop Warner and flag football.
“All of my receivers are helping me perform,” said Silvia, who also thanked his coaches for their guidance.
A big shout out to the Pali defense, which has largely made it hard for opponents to score. Tackles by Johnny and Jack Babala, Joshua King, Trinity Camden, Toby Manheim, Liam Herrera, Angus Gilchriest and Josiah Christopher helped limit the Wildcats to only about three first downs the entire game.
Pali’s JV team lost 21-13 to Newbury Park. Head Coach Ray Marsden has had to scramble to find teams to play. “We’ve had five games cancelled or moved,” he said.