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Palo Alto powers past Overfelt for first football win of year

Sophomore QB throws for six touchdowns, over 300 yards

Alfedo Jack returned a punt for a touchdown in Palo Alto's 47-8 victory over Overfelt on Friday night. Photo by Karen Ambrose Hickey.

From the outset, Palo Alto fraternal twins Louis and Joey Passarello had visiting Overfelt of San Jose seeing double on Friday night.

On the first play from scrimmage, Louis Passarello sacked Royals quarterback Paul Renteria, who coughed up the ball, which Joey Passarello pounced upon.

The Vikings went on to win the nonleague gridiron affair 47-8, evening their ledger at 1-1.

“It, obviously, feels good to get the first win,” Paly coach Nelson Gifford said. “I'm happier about the energy the team brought and the ability to overcome mistakes early on. The support everyone had for each other. It felt good to correct those errors and improve.”

Two Paly sophomores had stellar games, starting with quarterback Danny Peters. The lanky Peters threw for six touchdowns in his debut, completing 13 of 21 for 309 yards with two interceptions.

“Six touchdowns in his first game, not a bad way to go,” Gifford said of Peters.

Four of Peters' TD tosses went to Jamir Shepard, who had touchdown grabs of 25, 31, 40 and 63 yards.

On the second play of the second quarter, Shepard ran a crossing pattern, catching the ball with one hand before speeding ahead for a 31-yard score. Shepard's longest reception came on a flat pass to the left side. Shepard, with a lot of open real estate ahead of him, out-raced the Royals' secondary on his way to the end zone.

Senior Colin Giffen caught TD passes of 8 and 10 yards. Giffen had the catch of the night, a diving grab over the middle for a 13-yard gain.

Sophomore running back Josh Butler rushed for 121 yards on 17 carries in his second varsity game. Butler netted 122 yards before halftime, gaining 33 yards on the final play of the half.

Gifford credited junior center Jackson Bundy for controlling the line of scrimmage all night.

“Jackson Bundy was tremendous,” Gifford said. “Overfelt gave us a lot of looks. Bundy was able to coordinate and get our guys in the right position. His leadership up front was huge.”

Kevin Cullen came up with Paly's lone interception, also donating some hard hitting in the Vikings' secondary. Paly had a late sack by Creighton Morgenfeld and a nice tackle-for-loss by Will Moragne.

The Vikings threw in some style points, getting a 45-yard punt return for a score from Alfedo Jack early in the fourth quarter.

As for the Passarello twins, they'll have much to discuss at the dinner table this week, including a 40-yard reception by Joey Passarello, despite being interfered with on the play.

“It's an awesome feeling all that work we put in this past week paid off,” Louis Passarello said. “I didn't even know my brother recovered the ball until after the game. No matter who recovered it, it's a good play for my team. Of course, he's my brother, my best friend for the past 18 years.”

“We got each other's back all the time,” Joey said. “I always knows he has my back and I have his.”

Sometimes, it takes two.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

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