Football defeats Saratoga 51-34 on Homecoming Night

Football defeats Saratoga 51-34 on Homecoming Night

Scotty Bara

Larry Allen (’13) brings down Saratoga’s quaterback for a sack. Allen was a force on defense, recording two sacks and mutiple tackles.

Rohit Ramkumar, Staff Writer

The Palo Alto Vikings football team defeated the Saratoga Falcons 51-34 on Homecoming night to cap off Spirit Week. The Viking’s offense and defense were the stories of this game, as they were able to bring enough firepower to defeat a Saratoga team that threw for over 400 yards.

The Vikings were slow to start in the first quarter but the defense stayed strong as they held Saratoga to only a field goal after a fumble put the Falcons deep into Paly territory. The Vikings continued to stall on offense, going three and out and giving Saratoga the ball at the midfield with 4:12 remaining in the first. A long pass to Kyle Dozier (’13) for around 20 yards put the Falcons in the red zone for the second time but the Paly defense stepped up once again as Connor Scheel (’14) sacked the quarterback for a fumble that was eventually recovered by the Falcons.

After another field goal and another Paly three-and-out, Saratoga botched a punt, which led to an interception by Justin Gates-Mouton (’13) who returned it to Paly’s own 33 yard line. The takeaway proved fruitless, however, as Paly was forced to punt once again.

The next offensive possession for the Viking’s was highlighted by a 42 yard run by Andrew Frick (’14) and an eventual 5 yard touchdown run by Frick. The Falcons stormed back with a huge 75 yard touchdown to go up 13-7 with 5:30 left in the half.

On the ensuing offensive series, Matt Tolbert took an inside handoff and punished Falcon defenders as he rumbled in for a 26 yard score, putting the Vikings up 14-13 with 3:03 left in the half. Before the half, Paly was able to put more points on the board as James Foug (’13) connected on a 35 yard field-goal putting the Vikes’ up 17-13.

The second half was highlighted by an offensive explosion as the Viking’s scored 34 points, paced by touchdown throws from quarterback Keller Chryst (’14) to Malcolm Davis (’14), and De’Antay Williams (’13). Chryst was solid under center, throwing no interceptions and making plays in decisive situations. Later in the half, Frick scored on another handoff and Justin Gates-Mouton sealed the deal with an interception return for a touchdown.

Many offensive opportunities for the Vikings came as a result of outstanding defensive play in the trenches. The defensive line was able to get to the quarterback in some crucial situations and Larry Allen (’13) was one of these players, recording some key sacks late in the game.

The Falcon’s defense was not able to keep up with the Viking’s offense in the second half but they did make it interesting in the fourth quarter when they pulled to within 12 with about seven minutes remaining. However, the Viking’s defense stepped up once again and put the clamps on Saratoga despite giving up 34 points.

Gates-Mouton was the star on the defensive side of the ball, picking off two passes and breaking up many other attempts. He spoke about his enjoyment of playing on the defensive side of the ball.

“I always dreamed about getting a touchdown on defense,” Gates-Mouton said. Despite giving up 34 points, Gates-Mouton appreciated the defensive performance. “I liked how we kept our cool and understood their offense,” he said.

The Vikings will take on Mountain View at Mountain View at 2:30 next Friday.