Vikings conquered by Chieftans 35-7


The Palma quarterback steps back to pass as the Paly defense plays coverage. The Vikings ended up falling 35-7 to the Chieftains.

Maddy Atwater , Staff Writer

Even with a strong team effort, the Palo Alto High School Vikings suffered a rough loss to the Palma Chieftans with a final score of 35-7 under the Friday night lights of the football stadium.

Paly’s lone touchdown came from Jayshawn Puckett (‘15) off of a 23 yard run in the fourth quarter. Justin Hull (‘16) made two passes to Shaun Pike (‘16) and Oliver Svirksy (‘16) adding to a total of 48 yards preceeding the touchdown.

This game was Hull’s first start as a varsity quarterback. Of 21 total passes, Hull completed ten to add up to 113 total passing yards. Head coach Jake Halas had very positive words about Hull’s performance.

“He’s a gamer. That’s why he’s there,” Halas said. “We made the [quarterback] move because on game day the kid shows up. The kids like him, they trust him; he’s a leader, not by his mouth, but with his actions.”

The game started off with the teams battling back in forth: small runs here and long passes there. It was not until 1:16 left in the first quarter that the Chieftans scored their first touchdown off of a 33 yard run.

Paly started the second quarter with the ball, but an incomplete pass on a fourth down caused Palma to take over. Both teams went scoreless for another possesion, but Palma was able to run in a 12 yard touchdown with 3:24 left in the half. The Vikings then hard their first of three fumbles recovered by Palma, which ended in a 29 yard pass completion for a touchdown. Paly did not score in their next possession, so Palma quickly battled back with another touchdown off a 23 yard run making the score 28-0 to end the first half.

“We played hard. The first half was closer than the scoreboard said,” Hull said. “We battled, that’s all you can really ask for.”

The Vikings started off the second half poorly, with a fumble, recovered by the Tak Nishi (‘16), on the first play after the kick return. An offsides call on the defense advanced Paly 15 yards, followed by three completed passes by Hull to Eli Givens (‘16) and Pike for a total of 41 yards and a run by Puckett. The third fumble of the game instantly followed and Palma recovered the ball on their 34 yard line.

Jesus Ochoa (‘16) gained Paly’s momentum with an interception at the 6:35 mark of the third quarter, but the Chieftans combatted back with an interception that was returned to the seven yard line. Despite their best efforts, Palma was able to score once again to make the score 35-0 to close the third quarter.

Paly scored the first and only touchdown early into the fourth quarter. The score settled at 35-7 with the Chieftans prevailing over the Vikings. With this loss, the Viking’s record falls to one win and three losses. The Vikings take on the Wilcox Chargers next week at home. Even with Wilcox’s size, the team looks to improve this week and come out strong on Friday.

“Defensively speaking, we need to get more physical,” Halas said. “ We weren’t pushed around, but I would like us to be more the hammer rather than the nail.”