PaliHi Dolphins Defeat Fairfax 27-15 at Homecoming Game

by Sue Pascoe
Editor

On paper, Fairfax High School and the Palisades High School Dolphins football teams were evenly matched on rushing and passing yards and in tackles and sacks. But it all comes down to play and the Dolphins looked good on Friday, Oct. 21.

After the final score 27-15 was posted, Coach Tim Hyde said, “It was a good win. I’m excited for these kids. Now we’re 7-1 and 3-0 in league.”

Venice High School beat Hamilton 30-6 and Westchester High School beat University High School 38-0. Hyde knows that if he wants home team advantage at playoffs, he’ll need two more big wins.

Quarterback Jonah Manheim hands the ball off to running back Innocent Okoh on Oct. 21, 2016 against Fairfax High School.

Quarterback Jonah Manheim hands the ball off to running back Innocent Okoh on Oct. 21, 2016 against Fairfax High School. Photo: Drew Vaupen

“Our next two games are back to back on the road against the toughest teams in the league,” Hyde said, but his optimism over how his guys played against Fairfax was contagious.

This was PaliHi’s homecoming game and six former lettermen Carter Harrington (1961-1964), George Wilken (1961-1962), Phil Nerdrum (1961-1962), Randy Baler (1964-1966), David Card (1961-1963) and Rick Wilken (1961-1963), were on the field for the coin toss, with George Wilken giving it a flip. The Dolphins won the toss and elected to kickoff.

Although Pali’s Marrio Lofton intercepted a pass on the Lion’s first possession, the Dolphins were unable to capitalize on it and the Lions took over on the 47-yard line. They ran the ball down the field and scored a touchdown with 4:15 left in the first quarter.

The Dolphins received the ball, failed to move it down the field and turned it back over to Fairfax on their own 47-yard line. The Lions moved to within a field goal position, but Pali’s Lofton blocked the kick.

After the next kickoff, Pali settled in, with quarterback Jonah Manheim handing off to running back Innocent Okoh and connecting with wide receiver Pierre Kaku and middle linebacker Quinn Perry to march down the field. Okoh took it across the line for the touchdown. Jake Taitelman was good for the PAT.

Five of Palisades High School's senior football players hold up the handmade jerseys after defeating Fairfax High School on Oct. 21, 2016.

Five of Palisades High School’s senior football players hold up the handmade jerseys after defeating Fairfax High School on Oct. 21, 2016. Photo: Drew Vaupen

At half the score was tied. It took most of the third quarter before Pali could put another score on the board. After a Fairfax bad punt, that took an even worse bounce, Dolphins had possession on the Lions 44 yard line. A completed pass from Manheim to Lofton brought the ball to the 31. A handoff to Okoh went to the end zone, but was called back with penalties. A play later Okoh repeated his run and scored a TD, putting the Dolphins ahead 13-7.

With less than a minute in the third quarter, penalties against the Lions–personal foul, face mask, late hit—brought the ball for the Dolphins down to the six-yard line and then a touchdown. Taitelman’s PAT was good.

Pali’s final score came when Cameron Bailey intercepted a pass and ran for a touchdown. The PAT was good. With two minutes left in the game, Fairfax took the ball down the field for a final touchdown and a two-point conversion.

The Dolphins play Westchester, whose only loss was to Venice (26-27), on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. Palisades is tied with Venice for first.

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