PaliHi Football Loses to Dorsey, 42-28

By Sue Pascoe
Photos by Drew Vaupen


Third-seeded Palisades High School fell behind 28-0 in the first half and could never recover against sixth-seeded Dorsey Friday night, ultimately losing 42-28 in the second round of the City Section Division 1 playoffs. 

“Their speed was unbelievable,” said Pali Head Coach Tim Hyde after the game, and he cited a quote by Al Davis, the late owner of the Oakland Raiders: “You can’t teach speed. Everything else in the game can be taught, but speed is a gift from God.”

Pali kicker Campbell Geddes started the game by putting the ball into the endzone, but Dorsey drove 80 yards downfield and Charles Mincy scored from the Pali 21-yard line.

After the kickoff, the Dolphins moved out to their own 44, but came up inches short for a first down, and Dorsey took over on downs. Running back Mincy soon scored his second touchdown from the three-yard line to give the Dons a 14-0 lead.

Dakotah Hamilton tumbles into the endzone for the score

 After a third Dorsey touchdown, the Dolphins were on Dorsey’s 12-yard line, when Daniel Hayes threw a pass into the end zone that was intercepted by Dion Bascom, who ran 100+ yards for a touchdown. The Dons led 28-0 with five minutes left in the half.

Cameron Bailey gave Pali a lift by returning the kickoff 66 yards for a touchdown. The PAT by Geddes was good.

Dorsey responded by again marching down the field and scoring a touchdown, but Pali wouldn’t give up. Hayes completed a long pass to Alex Vaupen down to Dorsey’s 39, and two plays later, Dakotah Hamilton ran yards for the touchdown. 

The Dolphins trailed 35-14 at halftime, and Dorsey scored again early in the third quarter to take a commanding 42-14 lead. 

After the kickoff, several long runs by Hamilton and Max Palees set up a five-yard scoring pass from Hayes to Bailey. The PAT cut Dorsey’s lead to 41-21.

Four minutes into the fourth quarter, Hayes was hit hard by two Dorsey players, went down and remained motionless.

Fire Station 69 responded to a 911 call and the game was stopped for 20 minutes. The Dolphins gathered and said a prayer as Hayes laid on the field, attended to by paramedics.  (Coach Hyde later told the News that Hayes would be okay.)

Backup quarterback Jared Dobson stepped in, but was injured on the very first place and replaced by freshman quarterback Forrest Brock.

Starting on the Palisades 25, Brock handed off to Hamilton and Palees as the Dolphins advanced downfield, with Palees scoring from the 10. Another PAT by Geddes ended the night’s scoring.

Alex Vaupen returns the kickoff.

“I’m proud of you guys, you fought your tails off. You just didn’t make enough plays,” Hyde told his players after the game. “To those guys going to the next level, whether it is college or work, when your number is called, you have to make the plays.”

Bailey said, “It’s been a good season and I hope the best for our players as they go on. They’ll be on my mind.”

Linebacker Noah Karp added, “I’m pretty sad. I love this team. I had a great four years–there’s no place else I’d rather be.”

Offensive lineman Syr Riley summed up what so many of the seniors were feeling after the game. “Dakotah and I have been together since sixth grade. It’s hard leaving this team behind. Dakotah, Cameron, Vincent, Barack, Ari, this team. We will be brothers for life.”

Looking back at the season (the Dolphins were 8-4 overall), Hyde said: “We were a couple of plays from a 9-1 regular season.” 

Since coming to Pali five years ago, Hyde has built a steadily improving program. His Dolphins reached the City Section quarterfinals a year ago, and this year had a good enough record to earn home-field honors the first two games. “Babysteps,” he said. “We just keep knocking on the door.”

Dorsey will now play second-seeded South Gate in the semifinals, while top-seeded San Fernando faces fourth-seeded Garfield. Early this season, Palisades lost to South Gate, 32-31.

Dakotah Hamilton with the carry
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