Palo Alto had more than just homecoming to celebrate on Friday night as the Vikings successfully defended their SCVAL De Anza Division football title with a 35-13 triumph over visiting Homestead. Palo Alto improved to 5-0 in the division (8-0) overall with just one league game remaining.
That will be against Saratoga, which was mathematically alive for the title alive until the Falcons (2-2, 5-3) dropped a 23-14 decision to visiting Wilcox on Friday night. That, coupled with Homestead (2-2, 6-2) losing, knocked both of the runnerup teams out of the race.
Palo Alto has a nonleague game at Mountain View next Friday before visiting Saratoga in a regular-season finale on Nov. 12. Should Paly win its next two games, it will finish 10-0 for the first time since 1950. The team's last unbeaten season was in 1963, when the Vikings finished 9-0.
Paly relied on the strong right arm of senior quarterback Christoph Bono, who completed 12 of 16 passes for 253 yards, giving him 556 yards in his past two games. He also has six touchdown passes during that span, two more coming Friday – a 71-yarder to Maurice Williams and a 68-yarder to fellow senior Davante Adams, who had his second straight big night with five catches for 133 yards. In his past two games, Adams has 12 catches for 317 yards and three TDs as the Vikings' passing game has blossomed.
Paly's run game, however, hasn't been as productive. After averaging nearly 172 yards per game prior to last week's win over Milpitas, the Vikings managed just 48 yards on 24 carries against the Mustangs. Fifteen yards came on B.J. Boyd's touchdown run to cap the scoring in the third quarter.
Palo Alto also got a one-yard TD plunge by Bono and a 30-yard fumble return for a score by Michael Cullen that gave the Vikings a 21-7 lead in the second quarter. The Mustangs bounced back with a TD before halftime to close the gap to 21-13, but scores by Adams and Boyd gave the Vikings room to breathe in the third quarter as intermittent rain fell.
The points by Homestead were the first allowed by Paly's defense in three games. During that span, the Vikings have outscored the competition 112-13. Paly held Homestead to 155 total yards, 133 coming on the ground on 50 carries.