By Andrew Preimesberger
Palo Alto's offense gave up an interception with 0:52 left in the game and lost in a heartbreaker, 31-28, to visiting Milpitas in SCVAL De Anza Division football action Friday night.
The Vikings fell to 2-2 (3-4 overall) while the Trojans improved to 4-0 (6-1 overall) and are now in a tie for first place with Los Gatos in the division. Palo Alto has now lost four of its past six games and has allowed an average of 32.5 points in those losses.
"They played as hard as they could," said head coach Earl Hansen. "We made two mistakes and that cost us the game."
Milpitas junior running back Savion Black led the first quarter off with a 10-yard touchdown run to give his team the 6-0 early lead. The running back had a solid game with 74 yards and two touchdowns.
Paly took the lead back in the second quarter when senior quarterback Keller Chryst connected with senior Keesean Johnson for a 43-yard touchdown catch putting the Vikings up 14-6. Johnson caught seven passes for 117 yards.
Viking senior safety Tully McCalister made a huge block at a field goal attempt with 0:03 left in the half and saved the lead for Palo Alto, 14-12.
Trojan senior running back Squally Canada ran in for a five-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to give his team the 24-21 edge. Canada had a stellar game with 273 total offensive yards and two touchdowns.
The Palo Alto defense gave up 501 total offensive yards -- 311 coming from rushing. Paly, meanwhile, managed just 65 rushing yards.
The Vikings took the lead back with 2:13 left in the game when senior running back Andrew Frick caught a pass, juked out the defense, and ran in for a 43-yard touchdown giving Palo Alto the 28-24 advantage.
Milpitas answered on its next possession with a 57-yard touchdown grab by Canada putting the Trojans up 31-28 with 1:35 left in the game.
Chryst tried to make a miracle comeback for the Vikings late in the fourth quarter but was intercepted by junior cornerback Duane Jones. It was Chryst's second of the game.
"I put that on myself," said Chryst. "It was a poor read and I just shouldn't have thrown it."
The Vikings will take on Mountain View next Friday in a SCVAL De Anza Division matchup.
"We come out and fight every week," said Frick. "We've been fighting in all these games and we're just one big play away. We just have to keep focus on the rest of the season."
Sacred Heart Prep 45, South SF 10
Ben Burr-Kirven's 99-yard interception return was the highlight as Sacred Heart Prep remained unbeaten for the season and tied for first-place in the PAL Bay Division with a dismantling of visiting South San Francisco on Friday afternoon.
The Gators (2-0, 7-0) grabbed a 35-3 halftime lead, sparked by a 70-yard TD pass from Mason Randall to Andrew Segre in the first quarter. Griffin Kraemer's five-yard run provided the winning points in the second quarter, during which the Gators tallied 28 points. Ricky Grau's one-yard run and a five-yard TD jaunt by Burr-Kirven set the stage for Burr-Kirven's interception return. Riley Tinsley added a field goal and Grau caught a 60-yard TD pass from Randall to wrap up the impressive win.
Grau rushed for 99 yards on eight carries and caught two passes for 75 yards, Randall threw for 215 yards on 12-of-14 passes and Segre had two receptions for 74 yards in the balanced effort.
Priory 62, Crystal Springs 6
James McDaniel rushed nine times for 147 yards and scored on runs of 10, 39 and 32 yards to help spark the Panthers to a lopsided victory in Mission Trail Athletic League eight-man football action Friday in Portola Valley.
Priory improved to 5-0 in league and 7-0 overall, matching last season's record. The Panthers still have two more games remaining on their expanded schedule.
Will Latta completed five of seven passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns for Priory. Charlie Tidmarsh rushed four times for 56 yards and scored on runs of 20 and 15 yards. Brandon Zarringhalam had a 29-yard TD run and caught an eight-yard pass for another TD. Priory ran 25 total offensive plays, 15 of which produced touchdowns. Nine players scored as the Panthers improved their winning streak to 14 games.
Menlo-Atherton 28, Sequoia 10
The Bears bounced back from last week's tough loss to Sacred Heart Prep and handed the host Cherokees a loss in PAL Bay Division action Friday night in Redwood City.
Menlo-Atherton (2-1, 5-2) played without standout running back/linebacker Isiah Nash, who was injured last week.
Brian Jaggers took over for Nash and bulled his two to 70 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns on short runs, both coming in the second quarter as the Bears built a 21-3 halftime lead. Quarterback Brian Keare threw for 297 yards on 18 of 31 and Ryan Roberts had eight receptions for a season-high 166 yards and one score. James Smith put the final touch on the win with a 41-yard fumble recovery return for a touchdown.
Homestead 42, Gunn 7
The Titans (0-3, 1-6) suffered through another tough night defensively as the Mustangs rushed for 325 yards and compiled 446 total yards in a lopsided SCVAL El Camino Division contest at Gunn. The Titans also lost four fumbles.