Football looks to improve after first loss to San Benito

Vikings prepared to exceed expectations

The Palo Alto High School football team kicked off the season on a good note with their 54-28 victory over Sequoia High School on Sept. 4. At the half, Paly was barely in the lead with a score of 14-13. The second half saw Paly blowing out Sequoia, beginning with sophomore Paul Jackson III running 63 yards to the end zone for a touchdown halfway through the third quarter. Five more touchdowns followed, including a 36-yard dash by senior Tony Caballero-Santana at the end of the fourth quarter.

Paly’s defense managed to hold it down, only letting in four touchdowns and maintaining a strong offensive presence.

“Our line blocked hard and the backs ran the ball with lots of force and the receivers ran their routes beautifully,” junior fullback Christian Rider said. “I thought we all played really well.”

By playing aggressive and smart offense, Paly secured its first victory. Paly played its next opponent, the San Benito Haybalers, on Sept. 11.

Despite its previous success against Sequoia, the team was unable to repeat its victory and lost 54-28. The game was tied 14-14 until the third quarter, when San Benito began to pull ahead. Senior Eli Givens made everyone’s night with a one-handed catch for a touchdown, thrown by senior Justin Hull, at the end of the fourth quarter.

“I thought that we played hard and had a lot of effort,” junior Peter Snodgrass said. “It was a tough loss, but I am confident that we’ll rebound. I’m confident about [Archbishop Mitty High School] this week because I know that we will be prepared.”

The Vikings have their first away game Friday, Sept. 18. They will play Archbishop Mitty, a longtime rival.

“We got a bunch of guys who can actually play,” Rider said. “It’s just our execution and we just have to focus up during practice and games.”