Dolphins Rout University, 35-0, Remain Tied for First
PHOTOS: TANYA BARCESSAT
As expected, the Palisades High football team easily dispatched University, 35-0, on Friday night to remain in a three-way tie for first-place in the Western League.
Closing out league play, the Dolphins (7-2 overall and 3-1 in league), will travel to Hamilton (0-3) this Friday for a 3 p.m. game. Fairfax (6-3 and 3-1) plays University (0-3) and Venice (2-2) hosts Westchester (8-1 and 3-1).
Pali lost to Fairfax earlier this season but handed Westchester it’s only loss of the season. Westchester defeated Fairfax. So, if all three teams win Friday, Westchester might be the qualifier for the City Section open division playoffs based on its superior season record.
Despite last Friday’s easy win in its homecoming game, Pali suffered several injuries.
“We will have some guys out the next game,” Head Coach Tim Hyde said, but he has a young, talented team. “We’ll be fine.”
Max Palees, Pali’s leading rusher this season with 864 yards, had 15 carries and 112 yards. Three minutes into the game, he scored the game’s first touchdown with a 19-yard run. Tommy Meek kicked the first of his five PAT’s.
The second touchdown came early in the second quarter when quarterback Forrest Brock passed 12 yards to Noah Ghodooshim.
Palees was hit hard with three minutes left in the half and didn’t return to the field for the rest of the game.
With less than two minutes in the half, the Wildcats had to punt and the Dolphins took over on the their own 40. Two quick passes to Will Janney and then to Jake Nadley took the ball to Uni’s 37.
After losing five yards on a penalty, Brock again connected with Nadley, who ran to the eight. And then Brock found Cristian Popescu in the end zone with 49 seconds left, and Pali led at halftime, 21-0.
Brock, who was named the MaxPreps offensive player of the game against both Westchester and Venice, was injured five minutes into the third quarter.
The Dolphins were on Uni’s 28 and Brock, unable to find an open receiver, ran 27 yards before being tackled by three defenders. It was a hard hit and Brock hit the ground at a weird angle.
After he left the field, senior quarterback Daniel Hayes handed the ball to Tayari Gloster, who ran for the touchdown.
After a Wildcat punt, Hayes started on the Dolphins 23. Helped by a pass interference call and two runs by Gloster, Pali reached the 50-yard line, and then Hayes completed a long pass to Janney, who scored the game’s fifth touchdown.
Meek, a junior, who started out as a soccer goalie and still plays on Pali’s soccer team, started kicking as a freshman for the JV team. He moved up to the varsity this year.
Asked about the pressure he faces as a kicker, he said, “I keep myself composed and calm.” He also acknowledged his team’s strong play. “We did alright tonight.”
“We’ve played five straight juggernauts,” Hyde said after the game (citing South Gate, Brentwood, Fairfax, Westchester and Venice.]
On Monday, Brock was icing his left shoulder and told Circling the News that an x-ray and an ultrasound showed that he possibly has a bone bruise. Palees was also icing his shoulder and sitting out a practice.