Sports

Vikings football look ahead to league opener after third loss

 

The Murderer’s Row segment of its nonleague schedule concluded, The Palo Alto High football team will need to start picking up the pieces.

The Vikings (1-3) lost at Oak Grove, 28-0, Friday night. They have been outscored 104-21 the last three weeks, having also played San Benito and Mitty during that span.

“We’re not backing away from any challenge,’’ Palo Alto coach Danny Sullivan said. “But we understand when you play teams like them you have to play up to their level.’’

That didn’t happen Friday against the defending Central Coast Section Open Division I champions. The Vikings totaled 38 yards rushing on 30 carries and sophomore quarterback Jackson Chryst suffered through a nightmarish game. Under heavy pressure, he completed 4 of 21 passes for 35 yards and was sacked six times.

Palo Alto’s defense, led by linemen Peter Snodgrass and Alec Cohen-Schisler, played well in keeping the score respectable. One Oak Grove touchdown came on an interception return, another on a 26-yard drive after the ball was turned over on downs.

“The defense played amazing,’’ Sullivan said. “There are some things I need to do different with our offense. It’s frustrating on my part.’’

Palo Alto opens Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division play next Friday at home in a winnable game against Santa Clara (2-2). But even to beat the Bruins, a team Paly has been better than for years, the offense will need to improve greatly over the performance turned in at Oak Grove.

Part of the problem is structural. Only 27 players were suited up for the game.

“That’s the price we play by not being consistent showing up for workouts,’’ Sullivan said. “We’re really lacking depth.’’

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