Pali High Football Crushes Granada in ‘Bowl’ Game

by Sue Pascoe
Editor

The Palisades High School Dolphins scored their first touchdown with four minutes left in the first quarter, and then hit their stride, pounding out one TD after another as they beat Granada Hills on Friday, Sept. 9, 56-17, to capture the 11th annual Charter Bowl trophy.

“We love playing the Charter Bowl as a team,” Coach Tim Hyde said. “It is a ‘Trophy Game’ and the team works hard during practice to focus on keeping that trophy here at Palisades.”

The trophy stays with the winning school until the next season. Pali has defeated it’s charter-school foe seven times.

In preseason, Hyde said he had three strong running backs and predicted the Dolphins’ strength would be on the ground.

Kimmy Vaaatete Reyes sets the ball for kicker Jake Taitelman, who scored eight PATs and a touchdown. Credit: Drew Vaupen

Kimmy Vaaatete Reyes sets the ball for kicker Jake Taitelman, who scored eight PATs and a touchdown.
Credit: Drew Vaupen

 

His team lost its opener, 36-0, to Sierra Canyon, one of the top 30 teams in the state. Penalties and an injury to senior quarterback Gabe Galef kept Pali from showcasing its running game.

The Dolphins bounced back to defeat Sylmar 21-7, as the defense took center stage, forcing six turnovers.

Then last Friday, Pali’s running game proved unstoppable against Granada Hills. It was a thing of beauty to watch Innocent Okoh, Marrio Lofton and Stone Maderer find holes as they dodged through players to rack up yardage. Okoh had two touchdowns and Lofton one.

“We are still developing the offensive line,” Hyde said afterwards. “A lot of hard work over the last month paid off for that one game.”

Additionally, Pali’s defense put so much pressure on quarterback Ernesto Guevara that he had little time to pass or run, and often the play never made it past the line of scrimmage.

“Their quarterback is a very talented player and last year our defense let him have a great game against us,” Hyde said. “The kids were very hungry to not let him do that again. The defensive unit executed the game plan to near perfection.”

Innocent Okoh runs around the defense to score one of two touchdowns. Credit: Drew Vaupen

Innocent Okoh runs around the defense to score one of two touchdowns. Credit: Drew Vaupen

Leading 7-0, the Dolphins scored 35 points in the second quarter, and led 49-17 after three quarters.

With quarterback Galef out for a few games with an injured MCL, Jonah Manheim has stepped up and is keeping the offense running smoothly, scoring one touchdown. Pierre Kaku stepped in as the number two and also scored a touchdown, too. In addition to kicking eight PATS, Jake Taitelman scored a TD, too. Also scoring were Cameron Baily and Dakotah Hamilton.

After a bye week, Palisades has been “fine tuning and focusing on the details” while “getting healthy,” said Hyde, as the team prepares to go on the road this Friday against Huntington Park (30).

The Dolphins play at home on September 30 against Chatsworth, then open Western League play at home against University on Oct. 7.

 

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