Routing Granada Hills, 34-8, Last Friday
“This was my last Charter Bowl,” said senior running back Max Palees, who was happy about the 34-8 outcome. “We’ve had a couple of good wins.”
The September 6 victory at Granada was Palisades High’s third game of the season, following a victory over Taft and a loss to Cleveland, 28-25. They continue their non-league campaign this Friday at 7 p.m., hosting Reseda (2-1) which defeated Cleveland 36-6.
Discussing the Granada game, Palees said that “more people stepped up like Teddy [Suisman],” the senior receiver who scored two touchdowns.
“We kept fixing our mistakes,” said Palees, who over three games has had three touchdowns, 29 carries and 176 yards. “But we have a lot to do [against Reseda]. We want to work on more discipline and less mistakes.”
The Dolphins’ first touchdown came in the opening minute of play after Granada fumbled the kickoff and Hollis Hill recovered on Granada’s 15 yard line. Palees ran for 14 yards and then Adam Cravens scored the TD, followed by Tommy Meek’s PAT.
Following the kickoff, Granada slowly marched the ball downfield, chewing up most of the first quarter, and finally scored its only touchdown of the night (plus a two-point conversion).
On their next possession, the Dolphins lost a fumble to Granada on Pali’s 30, but the defense held, aided by Granada penalties.
After receiving the punt on their own 12, the Dolphins advanced to the 40, and quarterback Forrest Brock then connected with wide receiver Suisman, who completed a 60-yard TD play. The PAT put the Dolphins ahead 14-8.
The Dolphins forced the Highlanders to punt, but Brock threw an interception. Pali’s defense forced another punt, but the offense stalled and brought about another punt.
This time, when the Highlanders again had to punt, the Dolphins took possession on Granada’s 35. Palees broke loose for 17 yards, and then ran another 18 yards for the TD. Meek’s PAT was blocked and the half ended at 20-8.
Pali put the game away at the beginning of the second half, driving 65 yards to a touchdown. Brock hit Suisman for 36 yards down to Granada’s 14 and then passed to Syaire Riley, who ran the ball into the endzone. The PAT made the score 27-8.
In the fourth quarter, Pali scored its final touchdown by marching 75 yards. Jared La Violette caught three passes (one for 23 yards) and ran once for seven yards to spark the drive. Two quick handoffs and a pass to Palees moved the ball to Granada’s 21 and then Brock passed to Suisman for the six points.
There were several key problems for Pali, which led Coach Tim Hyde to say afterwards, “There was lots of lost focus and we were sloppy on offense. The score should have been 60-0.”
Hyde congratulated his players for winning the Charter Bowl, but warned them, “Your heads weren’t in the game. It’s a grind, every Monday we start over. Every game we have to adjust.”
He also noted, “We’ve had three straight away games, three games in the Valley, in the heat.” This Friday night’s weather should be ideal.
Syaire Riley, a two-way player who leads the team in tackles with 18 solo and 19 assists, acknowledged the coach was right. “We settled in after their first touchdown,” he said. “We’ll review what we learned this week.”
He was excited about his first touchdown of the season. “I told my dad I was going to score a touchdown this week,” he said, describing the catch and the score. “It was an awesome kind of feel.”