Righting the Ship

Pali High JV Football Routs Taft 68-0 for First Win of Season

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

In football, one game can turn an entire season around and that is what Palisades High JV Coach Ray Marsden hopes happened last Thursday afternoon at Taft.

Only six days after witnessing his team get shut out for the first time in his nine seasons, Marsden  watched it score more points than  it ever has on his watch, piling up 46 in the first half alone en route to a 68-0 drubbing for its first win.     

“We had three special teams touchdowns, one defensive touchdown, the defense gave us the ball inside the 20 four times, we were 7-for-8 on extra points not counting the last one when we took a knee, we didn’t throw a pass after the first quarter, we didn’t take sack and we had seven different guys score,” said Marsden, whose previous most lopsided win was a 60-6 blowout in the Dolphins’ 2014 season opener at Marshall. “We had a full-contact, full-speed  practice on Tuesday, which I’ve never ever done before. Maybe we should do that every week.”

Palisades dominated from the opening kickoff, which Yolas Amari returned 70 yards for a touchdown. After recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Palisades scored again on Hugo Anoh’s 20-yard run and on the Toreadors’ next series lineman Nathan Spoonamore blocked a punt and returned it for another score. Barrett Gordon’s touchdown and Anoh’s two-point conversion run made it 30-0 less than eight minutes into the contest and Amari’s 50-yard punt return for a touchdown, followed by Anoh’s two-point run made it 38-0 with 3:22 left in the first quarter. Gordon’s 17-yard touchdown run on the first playm of the second quarter increased the lead to 46-0.

In the third quarter, Anoh scored from eight yards out and added his fourth two-point conversion and with six minutes left in the fourth quarter Maurice Burgess scored on a 14-yard run followed by Max North’s two-point conversion. Christopher Washington closed out the scoring with a 13-yard interception return.

Sophomores Dylan Hassid, Jakob Brown and Adam Sadigh  all played at quarterback while the addition of freshman tight end and linebacker Toby Manheim added depth as Palisades moved to 1-1.   

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