Sunset Stunner

The referee signals a touchdown as Brentwood teammates dogpile Lucian Broady in the end zone moments after his game-tying catch in the final minute of last Saturday night’s dramatic 14-13 intersectional victory over Palisades.
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Brentwood Rallies from 13-Point Deficit Late in Fourth Quarter to Hand Palisades its First Defeat

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Someone’s “O” had to go when Palisades and Brentwood met for the first time on the gridiron Saturday night at Eagle Field. Neighborhood bragging rights were on the line for two proud football programs and the inaugural “Sunset Showdown” produced a Hollywood ending.   

Brentwood trailed by 13 points with under five minutes left, but the Eagles didn’t stop believing. Sophomore quarterback Cole Lourd threw two touchdown passes—the second to Lucian Broady with 48 seconds left—and the home team hung on for a 14-13 win that left players, fans and coaches breathless after an intense 48-minute struggle.

“It was a super game, a great atmosphere and give them credit—they made one more play than we did,” Palisades High Coach Tim Hyde said. “We had three scoring drives but two of them were only field goals and that kept them in the game.”

It was only the third time in Hyde’s six seasons that the Dolphins lost when leading after three quarters.

“So many things had to go right at the end for us to pull this out, but it shows the character of our kids,” Brentwood Coach Jake Ford said.  “They never hung their heads, never gave up hope. It didn’t look good, but they always believed they would win and they did.”   

Palisades appeared to put the game out of reach when Jack Stansell   

sacked Lourd on fourth down and Daniel Hayes connected with Will Janney on a 10-yard scoring pass four plays later to give the Dolphins a 13-0 lead with 5:18 left.

However, the Eagles marched 90 yards in seven plays, including a 40-yard bomb from Lourd to Devin Aglubat at midfield.

Lourd found Jamai Brown over the middle and he caught it in stride for a 33-yard touchdown that cut Brentwood’s deficit to six points with 3:13 remaining.

Keiji Patterson recovered the ensuing onside kick, but two plays later Brentwood pounced on a fumble at Palisades’ 38-yard line.

Five short passes moved the Eagles to the 11, but the Dolphins’ defense stiffened and Brentwood faced fourth down at Palisades’ 16 with 56 seconds left.

Lourd was flushed out of the pocket, scrambled to his right and threw a dart that was tipped at the goal line by defensive back Jake Nadley and ricocheted right to Broady, who grabbed it out of midair and touched both feet to the turf while falling out of bounds.

“I was all the way on the other side of the field and saw the ball tipped and nothing after that… then our whole sideline was running,” said junior Jack Dyett, who led the Eagles with six catches for 63 yards.   

“He tiptoed the ball in and the next thing I saw was a wave of players rushing to congratulate him,” added fellow Palisades resident Johnny Bond, who had nine tackles and a pass deflection. “Our team has the biggest heart. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. Not one player gave up. We all helped each other.”

It was an unlikely comeback against a Dolphins squad off to its best start in over two decades.    

“We had the perfect defense called,” Hyde said. “We actually took away all of their passes but the kid who caught it was a back who came out late.”

Brentwood was penalized for excessive celebration and Hyde opted to mark off the 15 yards on the extra point, making it a 35-yard try for kicker Gavin Green, who had missed two field goals of a similar distance in the first half.   This time, Green split the uprights and Brentwood finally had a lead.

Palisades placekicker Tommy Meek, who broke the stalemate with a 25-yard field goal late in the third quarter and doubled the  Dolphins’ advantage with a 27-yarder early in the fourth, thought his counterpart would miss.

“I was watching him all game and could see that his form wasn’t there… he was inconsistent,” said Meek, who is three-for-three this season. “There was a lot of pressure on him so I’m surprised that he made it, but he did!”

Palisades (4-1) had one last chance, beginning at its own 20,  and got to midfield with six ticks left. Hayes threw the ball as far as he could but Bond knocked it down at the Eagles’ 15-yard line as time expired.      

It was scoreless through two quarters—Palisades’ first 0-0 tie at halftime since the Charter Bowl against Granada Hills in 2010.    

Palisadian Jack Tobey had a huge game for Brentwood (4-0), rushing 10 times for 44 yards and leading the Eagles with 17 tackles.   

Both coaches have vowed to resume the rilvary next season.

“I was hoping I’d get one last kick,” Meek confessed. “I told the coaches just get me inside the 40 and I’ll be fine. How does it feel? Shock… anger… disappointment…  we’re at a loss for words.”

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