After dropping three straight football games while giving up an average of 49 points per contest, it was time for Palo Alto to turn things around. The Vikings did that in the most unusual way Friday night with a 42-35 double-overtime victory over visiting Saratoga.
The triumph not only ended one streak, but perhaps started another as Palo Alto opened its SCVAL De Anza Division season on a positive note.
Senior quarterback Justin Hull, who had kept the Vikings in the game with four touchdown passes, including a six-yard to Tak Nishi in the first overtime, capped the evening with a one-yard plunge in the second OT.
Palo Alto improved to 2-3 overall as Hull completed 12 of 22 passes for 208 yards. Riley Schoeben caught a 15-yard scoring toss to open the game, Eli Givens had a 67-yard scoring reception in the second quarter to tie the game at 14 and Schoeben caught a 45-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter to give the Vikings a brief 28-21 lead before Saratoga (0-1, 1-3) tied it once again to force overtime.
Givens finished with three catches for 111 yards while Paul Jackson III provided a solid rushing attack with 177 yards on 20 carries. He scored on a 20-yard run in the third quarter to tie the game at 21.
Despite giving up 147 points in its three previous games, the Palo Alto defense was solid when it counted with Troy Henderson III, Peter Snodgrass and Jamie Cullen making big plays in the extra periods, which started on each team's 10-yard line.
In Portola Valley, host Priory got off to a great start with 26 points in the first quarter before falling to Stuart Hall, 62-34, in Mission Trail Athletic League eight-man action.
Scott Harris took opening kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown and had eight receptions for 206 yards and three TDs from quarterback Adrian LaValle, but it still wasn't enough as Priory remained winless at 0-2 in league and 0-4 overall.
The teams combined for 50 points in the first quarter, with Priory holding 12-0 and 20-8 lead, but couldn't maintain the offensive pace as Stuart Hall (3-0, 4-0) scored 30 points in the second quarter.
In Palo Alto, Gunn (0-1, 0-5) suffered its third straight blowout loss as visiting Los Altos rolled to a 55-0 triumph in a SCVAL El Camino Division game on the Titans' field. Gunn dropped a 55-0 decision to Harker last week and a 57-6 contest to Branham the week before.
In Pacifica, Pinewood rolled to a 46-12 victory over host Alma Heights Christian in Mission Trail Athletic League action. The Panthers improved to 2-1 in league (3-1 overall).
Pinewood pulled away in the second half after a tight first half that ended with Pinewood leading 12-6. Kyle Murphy led the Panthers with five touchdowns, including three rushing scores, a receiving TD, and an interception return for a touchdown. He sat out much of the fourth quarter with the outcome safely secured.
"Defense played a phenomenal game," said Pinewood coach Matt Irvin. "Both first team and second team only allowing one TD each. Jackson Haun led the team with tackles and was involved nearly every play on defense."