By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
It was just like old times with seniors Maurice Williams and Christoph Bono making connections that led to another football victory.
Bono said he was a little rusty after missing half of last season with a shoulder injury but Williams insisted the communication between them worked just fine.
Williams has a case. After all, he caught four of Bono's passes for 76 yards, one for a touchdown. Bono was 14-of-24 overall for 193 yards.
"It's cool," Williams said following Palo Alto's 21-9 nonleague victory over Burlingame on Friday night. "We communicate well out there. We're going to get there."
The Vikings' offense was a little stagnant through much of the first half, but caught a break when T.J. Braff made the first of his two interceptions. It lead to the first sustained drive of the game for Paly, with Bono peppering the Burlingame defense with short passes.
Then they clicked. Williams was open over the middle and Bono hit him in the numbers.
"It was a little post across the middle and I was alone with the safety," Williams said. "I made the inside cut, the ball was right there and I broke a tackle."
Forty yards later, Palo Alto took the lead for good, with 19 seconds to spare before halftime.
"It felt good to be out there," Bono said. "I was a little rusty but I got into a little better rhythm. There's still a lot of room for improvement."
Tight end Michael Cullen caught a 23-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
"He may not know it but Davante (Adams) taught me everything I do out there," Williams said.
Scoring late in the first half seemed to loosen the offense, especially the running game. The Vikings compiled a grand total of one yard on the ground in the first half, but improved that by 67 yards in the final two quarters. Dre Hill rushed for 55 of them.
Palo Alto recovered a fumble on the second-half kickoff and Hill went 15 of the 17 yards necessary for a touchdown that gave the Vikings a 14-2 advantage.
"It was our first game so we needed to get into a rhythm," Williams said. "We need to be tough and work hard. We have Mitty this week, so we really have to be practicing hard."
"It didn't feel like the first game jitters but we were a little slow at the start," Bono said. "We were making some mistakes because they did some things we didn't expect.
Palo Alto's Miles Anderson was tackled in the end zone late in the first quarter to put Burlingame ahead, 2-0.