Paly almost spoiled its home opener on its new turf field by blowing a huge lead, the key word being "almost."
In Friday night, Paly defeated Archbishop Mitty 41-27 to move its record for the young season to 2-0.
The Vikings got off to a hot start and quickly scored on both of their first two drives to take a 13-0 lead.
Though Friday's game was quarterback Will Brandin's first of the season, after missing the season opener, his timing did not appear to be upset at all as he connected with Harry Woolson for a 34 yard touchdown pass on the opening drive, one of two touchdowns between Brandin and Woolson.
After a quick three-and-out for the Mitty offense, Sam Tompkins raced 36 yards to put Paly up by two scores, adding the running game to the already established passing game.
However, Mitty was not deterred by Paly's early success and quickly responded with a touchdown of their own on a quarterback sneak by Ryan Roderick.
In the second quarter, Paly looked to stretch its lead and did so on another touchdown pass from Brandin to Woolson.
After Brandin completed another touchdown pass, his third of the first half, to Joc Pederson, the game appeared to be getting out of hand, with Paly safely up by 21 points.
Nevertheless, the Paly coaching was not content with the lead, and after forcing Mitty to a three-and-out, Paly went for another touchdown in the remaining two minutes of the half.
The strategy backfired on Paly as Brandin was picked off, his first and only incompletion of the first of half after completing his first twelve passes.
Mitty took advantage the short field, and traveled the 41 yards to end zone, with Roderick completing a 27-yard touchdown pass to John Schmidt.
The late half touchdown crushed Paly's momentum going into halftime, and changed what looked like a potential blowout into close match up at 27-13.
In the second half Mitty again got the benefit of great field position when the snap on a Paly punt was low and punter Will Holder was forced to scramble.
Taking over on the Paly 19-yard line, Mitty quickly scored on a touchdown run from Andrew Bigelow to bring the game within one score.
After the Mitty defense again shut down Paly, the Monarchs drove from their own 17-yard line to tie the game at 27 all on a touchdown run by Rocky Meszaros.
The tie game finally reignited the Paly offense, which followed up Mitty's score with a 65-yard drive to retake the lead. Brandin threw for his fourth touchdown of the game, completing a 36-yard pass to Maurice Williams who simply outran his defenders on a streak pattern.
"Give them credit for overcoming (Mitty's comeback)," said head coach Earl Hansen. "They…made big plays."
With the lead back in their hands, Paly was not so quick to give it up again. On the kickoff following Williams' touchdown, Pederson recovered a fumble from Daniel Ajlouni, giving Paly the ball on the Mitty 39-yard line.
Using a heavy dose of rushing from Tompkins and Terry Beasley, Paly managed to increase its lead to 14 with a 4-yard touchdown run from Beasley.
"We got back in rhythm there towards the end," said Hansen of team's turnaround in the fourth quarter.
After this point, the Paly defense finished off the job, sacking Roderick on fourth down of Mitty's next possession and intercepting him on the following one.
In as close to a must-win game as a team can have in its second game of the year, Paly came through in the clutch to pull out the win.
Brandin finished the game with 248 yards passing, four touchdowns, and one interception on 19 of 25 passing, a 76 percent completion percentage.
Tompkins led the ground attack for Paly with 97 yards on 16 carries, 6.06 yards per carry average, and a touchdown, while Woolson led all receivers with six catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
The Vikings will take a very strong team from Gilroy next Friday in Gilroy before returning home to host Gunn in another nonleague test.
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posted by Colin Becht on Sep 20, 2008 at 2:04 am
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