Brentwood Outscores Palisades 29-0 over Last Two Quarters to Win Sunset Showdown, 43-24
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Friday night’s fifth chapter of the Sunset Showdown was a tale of two halves. Palisades controlled the first but Brentwood dominated the second and when the clock ran out the host Eagles celebrated a 43-24 victory—their third since the intersectional rivalry started in 2018.
In their final tune-up before league action, the Dolphins (3-2) took a 24-14 lead into intermission and appeared to have victory well in hand. However, momentum swings quickly on the gridiron and once the visitors lost it they never got it back.
“We got a little too complacent,” admitted junior linebacker Jake Treibatch, who made a team-best six tackles along with senior end Evan Nehrenberg. “They were dropping balls, we were getting good pressure on their quarterback and we were thinking we’d already won even though our coaches reminded us there are 24 minutes of football left. It comes down to who wants it more and in the end that was them.”
The first series of the second half set the tone for the remainder of the game as the Eagles (4-2) stopped two running plays cold and sacked Palisades quarterback Roman La Scala for an eight-yard loss, forcing a punt from deep in Dolphins’ territory.
Brentwood took over at its own 49-yard line and marched 51 yards in six plays, the last a 10-yard strike from quarterback Boone Lourd to tight end Dylan Karz in the corner of the end zone. The extra point pulled Brentwood within three, then Addison Stirling leaped high to intercept a long pass on the Dolphins’ next possession.
Beginning at their own 13, the Eagles marched across the midfield stripe as time expired in the third quarter and on the second play of the final frame Lourd connected with Davis Wong for 21 yards to Palisades’ 1. Lourd snuck over the goal line to propel Brentwood back into the lead, 28-24.
“Our seniors and I just returned from a three-day retreat at 2:30 this afternoon and while there we discussed this game at length and how important it was for them,” Brentwood head coach Jake Ford said. “So I reminded them about those conversations at halftime and told the players so far we’ve done a lot of talking but not a lot of doing. I really only made one small adjustment, the rest was mental. We were a little too wound up at kickoff and Palisades was playing at a faster pace than what I saw on film. They were winning at the line of scrimmage so after the break we made a more conscious effort to stop the run.”
After Palisades turned it over on downs at their own 41, Lourd escaped the pocket and scrambled to the 24. Three plays later he rolled right and hit Matthew Michaels in stride for a touchdown that extended the Eagles’ lead to 35-24 with 7:49 left.
On the third play of Palisades’ ensuing drive, Alex Kisker picked off a pass over the middle and returned it 67 yards for the game’s final touchdown. Wong ran for the two-point conversion and just like that the Dolphins trailed by 19 points.
Brett Federman took over at quarterback but Jake Cabral came up with his second interception—Brentwood’s fourth of the night—at the Eagles’ 39 to seal the deal.
“They’re a resilient team, they play hard for 48 minutes and my message at halftime was this game isn’t over,” Palisades’ first-year coach Dylen Smith said. “We practiced every play we knew they’d run, we simply couldn’t tackle them. On offense, we were short on a few deep balls and threw late over the middle which led to a couple of picks.”
Lourd, who led the Eagles to a 28-21 win at Palisades a year ago, accounted for five of his team’s six touchdowns Friday—three through the air and two on the ground. He completed 10 of 18 passes for 108 yards and carried the ball 12 times for 122 more yards.
Brentwood drove 64 yards in five plays on its first possession, scoring on Lourd’s five-yard toss to Wong and Dylan Cabral’s point-after kick.
Palisades answered with an impressive drive of its own, capped by Teralle Watson’s 25-yard run, to tie it 7-7. After forcing a three-an-out, the Dolphins moved 62 yards in 12 plays, with Watson plowing in from the 1 to give his team a 14-7 lead with 1:44 remaining in the first quarter.
Brentwood went three-and-out for the second straight series, but Palisades’ ensuing drive ended on an interception at the Eagles’ 24. After forcing a third consecutive punt the Dolphins took possession and widened the gap to 14 points when Harrison Carter broke the plane on a two-yard plunge midway through the second quarter.
Brentwood put together a much-needed scoring drive covering 73 yards and ending on Boone’s electrifying 25-yard dash after it appeared Palisades had him wrapped up behind the line.
The Dolphins executed their up-tempo attack to perfection in the final two minutes of the half as they advanced inside Brentwood’s 15 before settling for Kellan Ford’s 33-yard field goal with two seconds left.
Unlike last year when it trailed 21-0 at halftime, Palisades led by 10 points at intermission and confidence was high. In the other locker room, players were challenged to be better.
“We were all screaming, firing each other up… it’s the battle of Sunset and we weren’t going to stop at anything,” said Karz, who has caught a team-high 39 passes and also plays defensive end. “I’ve had this circled on my calendar since last year. We have similar playbooks and they’ve got some big bruisers and probably thought they’d wear us down, but I’m used to playing both ways. I wouldn’t want it any other way. The turning point was the first drive of the second half because we knew if we could score first we were right back in the game. To get a pick six from our sophomore [Kisker] and Frank Lewis making tackles all over the field, to shut them out in the second half was huge. What can I say about Boone? We’ve been best friends since seventh grade and you’re never out of it with him in the huddle.”
The neighborhood grudge game has been as competitive as can be thus far. Three of the five meetings have been decided by one score and Brentwood holds a 122-121 edge in total points.
Palisades receiver Braydon Sanford made several fine catches against Brentwood after sitting out the previous two games with an ankle injury. At practice Monday he described the defeat as bitter: “I’m glad I was able to play and once the whistle blew I didn’t think about pain or not being 100 percent. You can’t take anything away from them, they earned the win, but we beat ourselves. This hurts. I limped home. I hate losing more than I love winning and I couldn’t sleep all weekend. The key now is to keep our heads up and learn from our mistakes.”
The JV game was Saturday morning and the Dolphins lost 21-12 despite the defense allowing a total of six first downs. Mattias Hernandez threw two touchdown passes to Ricardo Martin, but bad snaps caused six turnovers and Palisades (3-2) was ultimately unable to dig out of a 15-0 halftime hole.
Palisades travels to Hamilton for its Western League opener today at 3:30 (the JV played yesterday). The Dolphins last lost to the Yankees in 2014.
The Dolphins ran the table in league in 2019 and 2021, won two of three league games in a delayed 2020 season and were second to Venice last fall.
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