Dolphins’ Offense Scores Touchdowns on Every Possession in First Half on the Way to 33-8 Rout at Sylmar
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
As the final seconds ticked off the clock in the second quarter of last Friday night’s varsity game at Sylmar, Palisades High quarterback Daniel Hayes escaped the pocket, rolled right to buy time and launched a pass to the end zone just as he got hit. Waiting at the goal line was receiver Will Janney, who outjumped a defender to make the grab—a knockout blow punctuating a near flawless 24 minutes of football.
Tommy Meek’s ensuing extra point kick made it 33-0—the Dolphins’ largest halftime lead since a 35-point bulge versus Fairfax in a Western League finale in 2014.
“It was our first road trip, we showed up, played hard and took the crowd out of it early, which is what you want to do,” Coach Tim Hyde said. “I was excited by the energy we had from the start. The way their secondary plays the plan was to be aggressive throwing the ball and Danny exploited them. We’ve had three different O-lines the last three weeks, but so far it’s working. The best part is we got to play all our backups… those guys work just as hard in practice and it’s nice to be able to reward them by getting them in the game.”
Hayes, a senior, enjoyed his best game in a Palisades uniform, completing 14 of 21 passes for 214 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also broke several tackles on his way to a 10-yard scoring run that capped an eight-play, 65-yard march on the Dolphins’ first series.
Sylmar picked up a first down on its opening drive before puntning from its own 35-yard line. Palisades mixed short passes with traps and draws to move 56 yards in nine plays, taking a 13-0 lead on a four-yard run up the middle by Max Palees. On the third play of Sylmar’s next drive, linebacker Noah Ghodooshim intercepted a pass at the Spartans’ 40 and Hayes immediately made the home team pay, hitting Janney in stride up the left sideline for a 40-yard touchdown that gave the Dolphins (2-0)a 19-0 lead with seven ticks left in the first quarter.
“They’re a great team but our coaches preach every week about focusing for 48 minutes and that’s what we did,” Janney said. “On my first touchdown I ran a streak, got a step on the defender and Danny trusted me to make the catch. On the second touchdown there were only three seconds left so they told him to throw to me on a backside post and Danny trusted me again!”
Its methodical running game slowed, Sylmar tested Palisades deep on its next drive but quickly discovered that the strength of the Dolphins’ defense is an athletic, experienced and opportunistic secondary. Jake Nadley picked off an overthrown pass and returned it 28 yards to Palisades’ 48. Eight plays later he was left wide open in the corner of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown reception approaching the halfway mark of the second quarter.
Sylmar (0-2) drove to the Dolphins’ 18 before turning it over on downs and the Dolphins used a varied attack to keep the chains moving. Ghodooshim’s 10-yard reception to the Sylmar 28 set up Hayes’ jump ball to Janney as the scoreboard clock showed nothing but zeros. Five first half possessions, five touchdowns. All Hyde could critique in the locker room were two blocked extra points.
“The line did an amazing job today,” said Hayes, who did not attempt a pass in the second half. “We had a new center for the third straight game (including a preseason scrimmage) and Justin Bahari did a great job on the snaps. We saw on film that their corners were flat-footed and we took advantage. On that last throw to Will I really should’ve thrown it earlier but to his credit he went up and got it.”
Sylmar tailback Josh Solis finally broke the shutout with 2:28 left in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard run that completed a 13-play, 81-yard drive. Andy Magallanes rushed for 161 yards in 32 carries and quarterback Emilio Contreras completed only five of 19 passes.
“I expected them to run more but they saw some openings in our pass defense and attacked that,” Sylmar’s first-year coach Cerone Woods lamented. “Mental mistakes and dropped passes hurt us. Palisades is comparable to Crespi.They have more size, great coaching and executed better.”
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