“Our timing was off,” Palisades High School Coach Hayden Smith said after the Dolphins 26-10 loss to Granada Hills on August 31, at the Stadium by the Sea.
This was the annual Charter Bowl. Palisades led the series 11-4 and had won the last nine in a row, but Thursday night belonged to the Highlanders.
In a game that was rife with penalties and injuries, both teams had trouble moving the ball in the first quarter.
About halfway through the second quarter, after a Granada punt, Pali’s LeHenry Solomon ran the ball 45 yards to the Granada 14.
La Scala completed a pass to Saxon Wald in the end zone. Kellen Ford’s PAT was good, and Pali was up 7 to 0.
On the kickoff, Granada Hills roared back, with Darrell Stanley taking the ball 80 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was not good.
After four incomplete passes, and unable to make first down, the Dolphins punted, and Granada took over on their own 25-yard line.
After a false-start penalty of five yards, the Highlander’s Kanye Martin ran the ball back for 70 yards for the Highlanders second touchdown. The two-point conversion failed.
At halftime Granada led 12-7.
Palisades Coach Smith said they planned to watch film this week to learn from mistakes. Anyone watching the game could see that the defensive players were missing tackles, and it became particularly obvious in the second half.
The Highlanders would score their third touchdown after an interception on their own 24, after Pali players missed key tackles.
Late in the third quarter Palisades kicker Kellan Ford made a 30-yard field goal, keeping the Dolphins in the game 18-10.
But that was “all they wrote” for the Dolphins, because at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Granada’s Stanley ran a 60-yard touchdown. This time the conversion was good.
The final, a 26-10 win, helped the Highlanders snap a nine-game Charter Bowl losing streak.
After the game, coaches gave the boys a pep talk and told the Pali team that they needed to come back and “just fight.” One coach said, “Come back and be ready to play.”
Coach Smith said, “We need to step things up.” He acknowledged that Granada “put a lot of pressure on Roman all night.” LaScala, who is usually dependable for pass completions – against Roosevelt he had 8 completions of the 10 attempted with 159 yards, and against El Camino 19 of the 35 attempted passes were completed. He was below 50 percent pass completion rate against Granada.
Smith said it “was not a good week of practice,” but vowed this coming week would be different.
The Dolphins are now 2-1 and will face St. Genevieve at home, September 8, at 7 p.m.
JV GAME – Granada Hills JV defeated Pali 36-21.