PaliHi Football Wins Charter Bowl 49-24

By Sue Pascoe 
Photos by Drew Vaupen

Palisades High School crushed Granada Hills, 49-24, at John Elway Stadium Friday night to win its third straight game and capture the Charter Bowl Trophy.

The Dolphins (3-0) continued to display excellent athleticism, solid plays, great teamwork, good attitude and solid coaching. On top of all that, every game has had the unexpected.

For example, in only the second offensive play of the game, Pali quarterback Daniel Hayes connected with wide receiver Alex Vaupen on a 23-yard pass, which Vaupen ran 20 yards for a touchdown. The senior, scored again in the second quarter and gained a total of 69 yards on three catches.

Then there was the play near the end of the first quarter when the Granada Hills quarterback tried to pass, but Pali junior Jack Stansell (6-1, 200) jumped high and deflected the ball, which flew towards senior Syr Riley, the largest member of the team (6-4, 325). 

Riley grabbed the ball on the Pali 32 and started a thrilling run down the sidelines, making it all the way to the 11 before he was finally brought down by a bevy of Highlanders. Senior Dakota Hamilton then ran the ball in for Pali’s second touchdown.

Hamilton had a standout performance, gaining 182 yards on 25 carries and scoring three TD’s. As though performing in a carefully choreographed dance, Hamilton skirts through the defensive line, changing direction, jumping and avoiding tackles.

Coach Tim Hyde, son Lucas and the Charter Bowl trophy.

Need more? If you’re serious about football, you would enjoy watching senior kicker Campbell Geddes, who sent five of his eight kickoffs into the end zone—and the other three were near the goal line, keeping Granada Hills pinned back. He had seven extra points.

Standout senior Cameron Bailey contributed a 40-yard kickoff return and caught four passes for 71 yards.

Granada rebounded in the first quarter to tie the game, 7-7, and added a two-point safety four minutes into the second quarter. But this was only a minor setback, as Dolphin junior Will Janney immediately intercepted a pass and ran 67 yards to make it 21-9.

Syr Riley grabs the interception off blocked pass.

The half ended with Pali in command, following a second TD pass from Hayes to Vaupen.

“He’s been working really hard in practice and its showing up in the plays,” Vaupen said of the quarterback, who completed seven passes for 140 yards. “We also have more experience and more focus this year.”

Leading 28-9, Coach Tim Hyde’s defense went into high gear. Sophomore Syaire Riley (Syr‘s younger brother) had a sack, six tackles and four assists, senior Jack Estabrook had one sack, three tackles and three assists and senior Vincent Huey had two sacks, two tackles and one assist. Senior starter Noah Karp was credited with 10 tackles and Sophomore Max Palees, a two-way player, had three tackles and three assists on defense and ran for 71 yards and one touchdown on offense.

“It was a fun game,” said Palees, who also gave credit to the offensive line for opening up the holes. “Dakota and I love to smash through the line and make the hits.”

“They played hard; they played tough,” said Hyde, noting that the Charter Bowl is a rivalry match with Granada. Pali’s traditional Western League rival is Venice, and the teams will square off in the Palisades on October 17.

Hyde was asked about the team’s progress. “We’re still young and we’re still filling positions,” he said. “Our goal is getting ready for league.”

Senior offensive guard Ari Sallus credits Hyde with preparing the team. “The game was tiring,” Sallus said, but “Coach Hyde said that we have to work to play 48 minutes, not 12, not 24. We can’t come off slow anymore. We can’t relax. We have to keep pounding.”

The Dolphins will travel to play South Gate (1-2) on Friday night and then return home against Huntington Park on Sept. 22. After a bye on Sept. 29, league play begins at home against Hamilton on Oct. 6.  

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