The Palo Alto High School football team (2-3, 1-0) triumphed over the Saratoga Falcons (1-3, 0-1) in its first De Anza league game of the season on Friday at home in double overtime with a final score of 42-35.
According to Head Coach Jake Halas, the win came from the consistent hard work of the players and their ability to unify as a team.
“This just really justifies all the work we put in, that’s what it [the win] did,” Halas said. “We kick their butt in practice all day long, and that’s why they were able to finish here in double overtime. They came together when it mattered.”
The Vikings were tied at the end of regulation play, with a notable comeback from Paly in the last minute and a half of the 4th quarter. Junior center Peter Snodgrass intercepted a pass from Saratoga junior quarterback Will Liddle and set up a drive that ended on the 1-yard line after a last second pass to Givens was just short of the touchdown.
“It [the interception] definitely helped us turn the momentum of the game,” Snodgrass said. “It was a team effort, though. We had [junior center] Alec Cohen-Schisler fill in for me [while out with a calf cramp], and he played awesome in that drive. He totally led our offensive line.”
Running a balanced offense helped the Vikings open up the field and find success, according to senior wide receiver Riley Schoeben.
“We finally got to run the ball,” Schoeben said. “That really opens up the pass game for Eli [Givens] and I, and [senior] Justin [Hull] got us the ball.”
Saratoga head coach Tim Lugo accepted the loss graciously, but saw the game as something to build off of for the future.
“It was a good high school football game by two pretty good football teams and, you know, hats off to Palo Alto,” Lugo said. “We’re going to be okay, we just have some things to fix.”
According to Paly senior captain and running back Takeru Nishi, focusing on cleaning up the defense will be a main goal for the Vikings in upcoming weeks, but remains confident in the team’s abilities.
“We need to work on not letting big plays past us, which is what happened tonight,” Nishi said. “If we can work on our defense and work on cleaning that up, I think we have a good chance of beating anyone.”
Paly is set to take on the Milpitas Trojans (3-2, 1-0) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, for their first De Anza league away game.