By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
No team in the Western League has played Palisades tougher over the last eight years than Fairfax. Several of their gridiron battles have come down to the final minutes… but not last Friday’s meeting at Stadium by the Sea.
The Dolphins dominated from start to finish and got back to the physical, tough-minded, relentless football their coach likes. They never let up for four quarters and came away with an impressive 35-6 victory.
“The Venice game just wasn’t us, that’s not what our program is about,” Coach Tim Hyde said of his team’s 36-0 loss to Venice the week before.”Tonight was about getting back to Pali football and we did that. Our line was totally different than last week. We would’ve liked the shutout but hey, a win is a win.”
Palisades was clicking in all three phases. It was balanced on offense, as quarterback Dylan Hassid threw for two touchdowns and Brandon Forrest, Daniel Anoh and Chris Washington all ran for scores. Palisades was opportunistic on defense, intercepting three passes (two by Amari Yolas, another by Matthew King) and holding the Lions to four first downs. On special teams, kicker Sebastian Conway-Burt was a perfect five-for-five on extra points and boomed two punts that pinned Fairfax inside its 15-yard line.
Forrest recorded the Dolphins’ first touchdown of the spring on a 22-yard strike from Hassid early in the second quarter and burst up the middle for a 49-yard scoring jaunt less than two minutes later to make it 14-0.
Xavier Smith’s 26-yard touchdown reception extended the lead after halftime and Anoh’s 49-yard scamper put the game out of reach at the end of the third quarter.
The Lions got on the scoreboard with 4:28 left on a 61-yard touchdown pass from Keivon Johnwell, but Washington’s 15-yard run closed out the scoring with 28 ticks to go. Palisades is 5-3 against the Lions in Hyde’s tenure.
Palisades (1-1) hosts Garfield (1-1) in a nonleague contest Saturday at 2 p.m. “Garfield runs the ball over and over again,” Hyde said. “They play a very aggressive man-to-man defense that we’ll have to exploit in order to win.”
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