Dolphins Play with Intensity, Few Mistakes
Palisades High looked like a different football team Thursday night in its 54-0 road win over Taft.
Discussing Pali’s season-opening loss to Cleveland, 28-25, Head Coach Tim Hyde said, “Last week was tough because I suspended a few kids for not following team rules. We lost a heartbreaker by three points.”
After the Taft game, he spoke to his players, “I told you to come and do your job – play your hearts out – and you did it.”
Later he told Circling the News, “This week was about correcting the mistakes.”
With every game, “We’re constantly getting ready for league and working different kids in different positions,” Hyde said. “Our offensive line keeps developing.”
One of the players who didn’t see a lot of playing time last year was wide receiver Eli Manheim, who played behind two outstanding seniors.
Eight minutes into the first quarter against Taft, Manheim caught a 10-yard pass from junior quarterback Forrest Brock for the Dolphins first touchdown. Senior Tommy Meek kicked the PAT.
Manheim’s second touchdown came early in the second quarter on another short pass from Brock. The PAT was good.
“We came off a tough loss last week,” said Manheim, adding that the team had worked hard and amped it up for Taft. He said he knew he was going to get important playing time this year and to make sure he was ready, “I worked 7 vs. 7 games this summer with friends – I just worked my butt off because I knew I needed to step it up for the team.
“Next week is a big game [against Granada Hills], we’re going to practice hard and get a “W,” Manheim said.
Taft’s offense didn’t move past the 50-yard line in the first half. Part of its problem was Pali’s Meek, who sent every kickoff into the endzone, forcing Taft to always start on its own 20.
Another barrier to Taft’s forward momentum was senior linebacker Noah Ghodooshim, who was in on numerous tackles and assists.
With less than seven minutes left in the first quarter, Ghodooshim intercepted a pass on the Pali’s 24 and ran it in for a touchdown. The PAT by Meek was good.
With additional touchdowns by senior running backs Max Palees and Adam Cravens, and a 20-yard field goal by Meek, the first half ended 38-0.
Meek added a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter, and center back and senior Xavier Whitfield received a punt on Taft’s 45 and ran it back for a touchdown. The PAT was good.
Palisades final touchdown came on a hand-off from Brock on the Taft 38 to senior fullback Kenny Cline, who ran it in for a touchdown. The PAT failed.
After the game, Ghodooshim said he was happy to be back in his position as linebacker, a week after Hyde made adjustments for missing players. “It felt like home,” he said. “Last week did not go our way and we came out hungry [tonight].”
For next Friday’s game against Granada Hills, the senior captain said, “It’s very important that we come out with the same intensity. We need to keep the Charter Bowl at home.”
The annual rivalry game decides who retains the traditional bowl “trophy’ for the coming year.
In addition to Ghodooshim, PaliHi captains this year are seniors Whitfield, Sy Riley, Tayari Glouster and Palees.
If a resident can’t make it to the game in Granada Hills, parent James Riley live streams the game on the Palisades High School football Facebook page.