Palisades High School suffered only its fourth loss of the season, but unfortunately it was to Granada Hills Charter in Division I of the CIF LA City Section Football Championships. The final was 44-7 at L.A. Valley College.
In the final analysis it was the Dijon Stanley game, the running back from Granada Hills scored five touchdowns. A senior, he told the L.A. Daily News “We wanted to end it with a bang and a lot of these kids have been here all four years and haven’t seen a lot of playoff wins. I knew we had the team to do it this year.”
Stanley ran 378 yards, with touchdowns for 39, 41 and 90 yards in the first quarter. A track star, whose personal best in the 100 meters is 10.76 and runs the 400 in 46.94. Not many defenders will have the speed to catch him. A Utah commit, he told the News reporter “In track, every little second matters and in football every little yard matters. Everything matters because you never know where your last play is.”
The Dolphins scored their only touchdown early in the first quarter, starting on their own 40 and driving down to the Highlanders 7-yard-line. Quarterback Roman La Scala scored from the three-yard line and Kellen Ford kicked for the extra point.
Palisades had opportunities. In the second quarter, La Scala connected with Mikael King-Haagen on a 38-yard pass and the ball was inside the Granada 10. The Dolphins were fourth and one at the Highlanders three-yard line, but unable to score.
In addition to Stanley’s touchdowns, another nod has to go to the Granada Hills defense, which consistently forced PaliHi turnovers. The half ended 36-7.
During the third quarter, the Dolphin’s defense settled in and neither team was able to score.
GH started the fourth quarter with a third and 19 at the Palisades 24. Palisades defense held and the Dolphins took over on their own 13.
Palisades fumbled and Granada took over on the Dolphins 48. Stanley spun out of a tackle and scored his fifth touchdown on a 44-yard-run.
Palisades High School coach Chris Hyduke had earlier told Circling the News that “I’m proud of these boys.” He said when the season started his team was young and experienced, with only a few returning starters.
Looking back at his team’s growth, he said, “We had an amazing season.” With most of his team returning next year, it could mean another good year for PaliHi football.
In the open division, Birmingham captured its third straight championship beating Garfield 49-13. Birmingham’s stiffest competition came from Venice in a double-overtime thriller in the opening game of Open Division Playoffs on November 10, which ended 28-27.
The Patriots now move to the CIF Regional Football Championship Bowl Games regional playoff in Division 3-A, facing Laguna Hills at Birmingham on December 3.
Granada Hills faces Laguna Beach at Laguna on December 3 in Division 4-A game.