A week later, and a different team stepped on the field. Palisades High School crushed Huntington Park 48-0 in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs at Stadium by the Sea. The week before the Dolphins had lost to Venice 60-14, losing the Western Conference title. Both teams had been undefeated going into that game.
“The kids were really embarrassed last week,” said PaliHi head coach Chris Hyduke. “They wanted to redeem themselves. They were playing better tonight because they didn’t want to be what they were last week.”
Coaches had told players throughout the season that “It’s okay to lose if you play hard,” but in the game against Venice players weren’t playing to the best of their abilities.
Hyduke said Venice was a good team, but his team just wasn’t playing well that night. The coaching team felt this game against the Spartans was a step back in the right direction.
“They’re a young team,” Hyduke said, and noted that the team was 8-3 on the season and 4-1 in league with the only defeat against Venice. “Losing was a good experience, but I am very proud of them, tonight.”
Hunting Park, which was seeded 14, took the kickoff on their own 15-yard line and slowly moved the ball up the field to the Palisades 45, before losing the ball on downs with about five minutes left in the first quarter. Palisades took over and four plays later had their first touchdown when quarterback Roman La Scala ran it into the endzone.
Kellen Ford would kick the first of six PATs for the Dolphins.
On the kickoff, HP fumbled the ball on the team’s six-yard line, and it was recovered by sophomore Rowan Flynn. Christopher Washington took it if for the touchdown. He would have three for the game, with 128 rushing yards.
Huntington Park failed to move past their own 39 and the Dolphins took over on downs. Washington carried it to the 23-yard line. A pass to junior Sean Grier saw another touchdown. At the end of the first quarter, Palisades was up 21-0.
Palisades Eric Daniels and Matthew Spoonamore both recovered fumbles that turned into scoring opportunities for the Dolphins. Jason Alexander intercepted a pass on the 23-yard line, once again stopping any forward movement for the Spartans.
At half the score was 48-0
Wide receiver Mikael King-haagen had 104 yards for the game and one touchdown. Amari Yolas carried for 60 yards.
Freshman Harrison Carter scored a touchdown. Quarterbacks La Scala had seven of eight completions with 128 yards and Zachary Lifton had two of three completions for 98 yards.
Defensively, leading the Dolphins in tackles this season is senior Savyour Riley, followed by sophomores Jesse Ettus and Jake Treibatch. Junior Evan Nehrenberg leads the team in sacks.
Next the Dolphins face Dymally High School, seeded sixth, at home, in the quarterfinals on November 10 at 7:30 at Stadium by the Sea. Palisades is ranked third behind Carson and the top-ranked Granada Hills.