Palo Alto almost missed the kickoff to its 2007 season opener on Friday night, with traffic on the way to McClymonds High in Oakland looking much like a parking lot.
The Vikings did make it time, with just 10 minutes to spare after spending nearly 2 Â½ hours to make the 40-mile trip across the Bay after an accident on the San Mateo Bridge halted Paly's bus.
Once they settled down, the Vikings relied on two veterans to help post a 20-6 nonleague victory.
While breaking in a new quarterback (junior Will Brandin) and a new offensive line, the Vikings turned to what they did know – senior running back Sione Mataele and wide receiver Mike Scott.
Mataele scored two touchdowns in the second half to break a 6-6 deadlock while rushing for 113 yards on 17 carries. Scott caught five passes for 79 yards, many of them of the spectacular variety.
Mataele and Scott combined to score all of Paly's touchdowns in a 42-28 loss to Orange Lutheran last December in the CIF Division II state championship game in Carson.
Brandin also was at that game but watched as then-starting quarterback Nick Goodspeed led the way. It was Brandin's turn Friday and he made the most of his first start by completing 11 of 17 passes for 133 yards.
Paly grabbed a 6-0 lead in the second quarter when Will Holder intercepted a pass and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. The Vikings' defense also held vaunted McClymonds' 1,000-yard running back Andre Island to just 59 yards on 20 carries.