Football Seeks First Win against Canoga Park

Pali High football is back in action Friday at Stadium by the Sea. / Photo: Steve Galluzzo
Pali High football is back in action Friday against Canoga Park at Stadium by the Sea. / Steve Galluzzo

Palisades High’s varsity and junior varsity football teams are anxious to get back on the field Friday following a productive bye week.

The Dolphins will host Canoga Park (JV at 4 p.m.; varsity at 7) in nonleague action at Stadium by the Sea and the varsity is hungry for its first win after opening the season with tough losses to Sierra Canyon and Sylmar.

Pali High Coach Tim Hyde and his team are all too familiar with the Hunters, having faced them each of the last two seasons. Last year, the Dolphins needed a 21-yard field goal by Ethan Erickson with three seconds left to escape with a 38-35 victory.

“We’ve had two classic games with them and we expect another one,” Hyde said. “I have a lot of respect for Coach [Ivan] Moreno. They have a swarming defense which is the fastest we’ll face so far and they have outstanding running backs that’ll challenge our front seven all night long.”

Quarterback P.J. Hurst, who suffered a mild concussion in the first quarter against Sylmar, and linebacker Alec Simpson, who left the game with a lower back injury at the start of the second half, are expected to back Friday.

Palisades has played the fourth-toughest schedule in the City Section according to MaxPreps. Canoga Park, which fell to 1-2 after losing to Birmingham last week, is one of the favorites to win the City Division II title.

“I’m looking forward to seeing us play after a few tweaks we’ve learned from the first two games,” Hyde said.

The JV team will be playing only its second game while it will be Canoga Park’s fourth.

“They’ve got three games under their belts already,” Pali High Coach Ray Marsden said. “The bye was good in the sense that we’ve had more time to practice, but nothing can replace game experience.”

— Steve Galluzzo