Early Wake-Up Call

Pali High JV Football Blanked by Cleveland, 16-0, in Reseda

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

The moment the clock ran out last Friday afternoon at Cleveland, Palisades High junior

Palisades receiver Eli Ghodooshim (left) makes a leaping catch in the second half of last Friday’s nonleague JV game at Cleveland.
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

varsity football coach Ray Marsden knew what the focus would be at practice this week.

“Our tackling was horrible,” Marsden said after the Dolphins’ 16-0 loss—the first time in nine seasons at Palisades that his team  was kept off the scoreboard. “You better believe we’ll be doing tackling drills. The game management by the quarterbacks wasn’t good. It’s an open tryout every week.”

The Cavaliers dealt Palisades its only defeat in nine games last season, so the Dolphins wanted to return the favor. However, despite  dominating the first half they had no points to show for it, failing to convert on three fourth-and-short situations inside the Cleveland 20.

“This is one of the most disappointing losses I’ve had because this might be one of the best teams I’ve had,” Marsden said. “Last year we didn’t have nearly the depth we do now, but those guys just refused to be pushed around.”

Dylan Hassid started at quarterback and played the first half.Fellow sophomore Jakob Brown took over in the second half. Hugo Anoh led the rushing attack, fellow 10th-grader Xavier Smith had two long punt returns and sophomore tight end Eli Ghodooshim made several catches—the last on the final play of the game.     

Sophomore Barrett Gordon made the most of his carries and made big tackles on defense along with  freshman Christopher Washington, who also ran for several first downs and had two catches.

The offensive and defensive fronts consisted of ninth-graders Nicholas Washington, Griffin White, Nickolas Brown and Nathan Spoonamore, along with sophomores Eddie Leon and Corey Ehrlich.

The score was 0-0 at halftime, but the host Cavaliers finally broke the stalemate on a 26-yard touchdown run with 7:32 left in the third quarter.

After a turnover, Cleveland marched to Palisades’ 3-yard line but the Dolphins’ defense held. The Cavaliers scored on a six- yard sweep with under two minutes remaining to ice the victory.