THE DEFENSIVE STANDSFour key defensive plays that made a difference in Palo Alto's 15-13 victory over Centennial (Corona) in the CIF Division I state championship game:
With time running out in the opening period, Centennial drives to the Paly 23. On fourth down, Centennial running back Barrinton Collins is stopped by Paly's Chris Martinez for no gain. The result? The Vikings take over and drive 77 yards in 10 plays with Christoph Bono throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams for a 9-0 lead.
Centennial drives to the Paly 7. With 1:51 left in the half, Centennial QB Michael Eubank is stopped by Paly linebacker Will Glazier and Kevin Anderson. The Huskies also are penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and the Vikings take over on their own 20. The result? Two plays later, Bono throws an 80-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Williams for a 15-0 halftime lead.
Centennial drives to the Paly 2. On 4th and goal, Eubank is thrown for a one-yard loss by Tory Prati and Michael Cullen. The result? Palo Alto takes over and goes on a 15-play drive that consumes over nine minutes.
Centennial closes the gap to 15-13 when Eubank breaks through the line and races 33 yards to score. On a two-point conversion try, Eubank decides to keep the ball and is stopped short of the goal by T.J. Braff, Cullen and Glazier (among others). The result? Paly prevents a tie game with 4:14 to play.