By Andrew Preimesberger
Palo Alto had enough offense, but not enough defense as the Vikings gave up 558 rushing yards in a 42-39 loss to visiting Wilcox in SCVAL De Anza Division action Friday night.
Paly senior quarterback Keller Chryst had 378 passing yards and accounted for five touchdowns, but it still wasn't enough as Palo Alto fell to 1-1 in league (2-3 overall). The Vikings have lost three of their past four games. Wilcox, meanwhile, moved to 1-1 (4-1).
"In a game like this, you can't make any mistakes," said Chryst who completed 20 of 33 passes for his season-high yardage. "We just have to pay attention to details. We can't pull off victories if we're not committing ourselves."
Paly wideout Eli Givens had a career night with four catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns. The Vikings, however, ran for just 47 yards on 22 carries.
Wilcox led off its drive with an 80-yard run from senior running back Delshawn Mitchell giving the Chargers the early 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Chryst answered with a seven-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Malcom Davis to even the score at 7.
In the second quarter Mitchell broke off another huge gain for the Chargers and ran for an 81-yard touchdown putting Wilcox up 21-7. The Chargers had two running backs combined for 243 rushing yards in the first half alone.
"We played two sophomores on the line tonight," said Paly head coach Earl Hansen. "Four out of the six at the end of the game were sophomores. We were playing one of the better teams in the league so I think we're all right."
Chryst ran up the middle and reached out his arm for a one-yard touchdown with 2:05 left in the second quarter and cut Wilcox's lead to 21-20 going into the half.
Paly senior wide receiver and kick returner Keesean Johnson ran and juked out the Chargers' special teams with a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown putting his team up 32-28 in the third quarter.
Palo Alto had the momentum after the touchdown, but Wilcox senior running back Sione Finefeuiaki powered past the Vikings' defense for a 47-yard touchdown to give the Chargers the 34-32 edge.
Chryst ran in for a one-yard touchdown with 7:26 left in the fourth, but on the Chargers' next possession they ran down the field on 14 run plays. Mitchell again came through, pushing and shoving for the 16-yard touchdown putting Wilcox up 42-39.
The Vikings had a chance to make a comeback with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but failed to score when Chryst threw a hail-mary and was intercepted for the second time by Wilcox's defensive back Adam Hernandez.
"We picked it up in the third series," said Chryst, who completed only three passes in the second half. "There was a play we should've had at the end there -- we just have to finish."
"If we play like this, and do it in the beginning of the game, then we'll be fine," said Hansen.
Priory 36, Stuart Hall 8
Will Latta rushed 17 times for 93 yards and four touchdowns to pace host Priory to a solid victory over Stuart Hall in Mission Trail Athletic League eight-man football action Friday.
Latta scored on runs of 42, 1, 14 and 6 yards in addition to adding a conversion as the Panthers improved to 3-0 in league (5-0 overall). Charlie Tidmarsh had 17 carries for 101 yards, including a 14-yard TD run. On defense, Brandon Zarringhalam had two interceptions.
Priory holds onto the "Oratum Et Cor" Trophy, a rivalry trophy between the two Catholic Schools of the eight-man football MTAL league. Priory is 3-1 in the rivalry.
Menlo-Atherton 31, South SF 19
The Bears opened up their PAL Bay Division season as
senior Isiah Nash excelled on both sides of the ball in a solid victory over the host Warriors. M-A won its fourth straight game while improving to 4-1.
Nash carried 27 times for 232 yards and two touchdowns on offense while on defense he played linebacker and returned an interception 47 yards for another score. The Bears rushed for 346 yards on 45 carries.
M-A senior quarterback Brian Keare threw for one touchdown and ran for another. Senior linebacker Brian Jaggers led M-A's defense with 10 tackles, in addition to rushing for 75 yards on nine carries.
Matt DeTrempe had nine tackles and Thomas Jefferson finished with eight. Quinn Sweetnam and Enzo Santos each had a sack for the Bears.