Dolphins Beat Granada Hills 34-8 for Eighth Straight Charter Bowl Victory
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Palisades High football players had plenty of incentive to win last Friday’s annual Charter Bowl against Granada Hills, but Coach Tim Hyde upped the ante by dedicating the rivalry game to his former offensive line coach Larry Palmer, who died suddenly at his Bollinger Drive home last Thanksgiving. He was the starting left tackle for Granada Hills in 1978 and his primary job was protecting the blind side of future back-to-back Super Bowl champion quarterback John Elway—after whom the stadium at Granada Hills High is named.
“I told stories about Larry all week,” Hyde said. “He meant a lot to our program. We love this game, we haven’t lost it since I’ve been here and we wanted to keep it that way,” Hyde said following the Dolphins’ 34-8 victory—their seventh straight Charter Bowl win under Hyde and eighth in a row in a series that began in 2006. “They came out on their first drive and punched us in the mouth. I give a lot of credit to [defensive coordinator] Chris Hyduke for changing our defense on the fly. We played our tails off for 48 minutes. I knew starting the year with three tough road trips in the heat would challenge us and it has. From here on out it’s going to be a grind. We’re in playoff mode as of now.”
Hyde couldn’t have asked for a better start as Hollis Hill forced a fumble on the opening kickoff and the Dolphins recovered deep in Granada Hills territory. Three plays later, Adam Cravens ran for a five-yard touchdown and Palisades (2-1) led 7-0 less than one minute into the contest.
“Max [Palees] is a beast… he’s a big inspiration, so when the rest of us get our chance we have to step up to that level,” Cravens said. “Whenever your number is called you have to do your job. We came here to play hard-knock football and that’s what we did.”
The Highlanders (0-3) came right back, driving 88 yards in 14 plays, scoring on a five-yard run by Justin Tapia. Samuel Ahn carried for the two-point conversion and Granada Hills led, 8-7.
A fumble on the ensuing kickoff got Granada Hills the ball back at its own 38, but it was forced to punt and on the fifth play of the Dolphins’ next possession Forrest Brock hit receiver Teddy Suisman in stride for a 60-yard touchdown and Palisades was on top to stay.
Owen Jennings intercepted a Brock pass midway through the second quarter, but Palisades’ defense held. After the teams traded punts, the Dolphins took over at Granada Hills’ 35-yard line and on the third play Palees broke free for a 27-yard touchdown. The extra point try by Tommy Meek was blocked but the Dolphins took a 20-8 lead into the locker room.
On the opening drive of the second half Brock found tight end Sy Riley over the middle from six yards out to increase the lead to 19 points. Meek missed a 43-yard field goal on the Dolphins’ next drive, but Granada Hills turned it over on downs after a long march. Palisades covered 56 yards in nine plays, putting the outcome on ice with Brock’s 21-yard pitch and catch to Suisman. Defensive end Immanuel Newell got a sack and safety Jack Babala intercepted a pass on the last play of the game.
“There were two people outside of me so I went upfield, cut and saw there was no one there,” Riley said of his touchdown catch. “Forrest laid it out there perfectly for me. It’s an awesome feeling. I came here two years ago [as a sophomore] and we won, last year was the same and to win again I’m happy we kept the pattern going.”
Brock connected on 14 of 22 attempts for 223 yards and three touchdowns, Palees had 12 carries for 81 yards, Suisman had three receptions for 118 yards and Eli Manheim caught five passes for 37 yards. Riley had 17 tackles and Noah Ghodooshim added 10.