Palisades Football Shuts Out Cleveland in Season Opener
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
New Palisades High head football coach Chris Hyduke could not have dreamed of a more impressive way to start his tenure than what transpired last Friday night at Stadium by the Sea. The smooth transition Athletic Director John Achen had hoped for when he hired Hyduke and Offensive Coordinator Rocky Montz to replace the departed Tim Hyde over the summer was evident, as the Dolphins dominated in all three phases throughout a 39-0 shutout of Cleveland—the same team that had handed the Dolphins a 28-25 loss to begin the 2019 season.
Dylan Hassid scored the first touchdown of the year on a quarterback sneak and showed accuracy threw air, engineering four more scoring drives by halftime—one of which ended on a touchdown pass to Xavier Smith to open the second quarter. Sammy Silvia replaced Hassid with a running clock in the fourth quarter and also demonstrated poise.
While the offense was clicking on all cylinders, perhaps the bigger story was the Dolphins’ lights out defense, which posted its second shutout in four months (having blanked Garfield 23-0 on April 24 in the third of its four spring games). Johnny Babala intercepted a pass on the Cavaliers’ first offensive possession to set up Josh Russell’s scoring run, then intercepted another pass in the final minute of the first half. Victor Mindel picked off a pass in the second half to help preserve the shutout.
On special teams, Marcus Brown returned a squib kick 60 yards to set up the first touchdown and kicker A.J. Schultz converted an extra point try.
It marked the second time in four years Palisades held its opponent scoreless in its opener and it was the Dolphins’ widest margin of victory in an opener since they beat Marshall by 40 points in 2013 under Hyde.
Palisades is back in action Friday night when it hosts San Fernando (0-1). Varsity kicks off at 7 at Stadium by the Sea.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.