Football falls to Los Gatos in Homecoming game

Jackson Doerr and William Sallomi

Senior wide receiver Nick Smallwood prepares for the snap. Paly would go on to lose to Los Gatos 35-6. Photo: Jackson Doerr
Palo Alto High School senior wide receiver Nick Smallwood prepares for the snap. Paly would go on to lose to Los Gatos High School, 35-6 on Friday night at home. Photo: Jackson Doerr.

The Palo Alto High School Vikings football team (3-5, 2-2) is fighting for a spot in the De Anza league playoffs after losing its homecoming game against the Los Gatos Wildcats (4-3, 3-0), 35-6, last night on the Paly football field.

The game was an ordeal for the Vikings, who struggled to put the Wildcats’ strong offense on hold, throughout the entirety of the game.

Just five minutes into the game, the Wildcats broke through the Paly defense to score the first touchdown of the game. The rest of the first quarter was a scoreless standoff, and the ball did not leave Paly’s half.

In the second quarter, Los Gatos gained 96 yards in ten plays over the course of two minutes and 12 seconds, and added another Wildcat touchdown to the scoreboard.

On the very next play, a player from each team was ejected for personal fouls, including Paly junior offensive lineman Bryant Jefferson.

Viking head coach Danny Sullivan said he disagrees with the call and he believes that the skirmish was not grounds for ejection of either player.

“It was just an overreaction to the play,” Sullivan said. “I was looking at it the whole time and I don’t think anybody should have gotten ejected, including their kid.”

Los Gatos would go on to score twice in the 3rd and once in the 4th, bringing the score to 35-0. But with three minutes left in the game, Paly was able to get a touchdown, preventing the Wildcats from securing a shutout win.

According to Sullivan, Paly struggled with performing smaller plays.

“We started moving the ball but we hit a wall,” Sullivan said. “Simple execution on little things is the difference between the two scores so we’ve got to get better at doing that.”

According to Sullivan, the Vikings will continue to focus on working the kinks out of their play.

“It’s just doing the fine tuning that we really have to focus on,” Sullivan said. “We’ve gotten so much better over the course of the season and we’re only going to keep getting better.”

Sullivan said the season is far from over, and the Vikings are in competition for a spot in the playoffs.

“We’re playing for a playoff spot in these next two weeks,” Sullivan said. “Next week is a bye week. We need to get a couple things neatened up and then it’s off to Mountain View.”

According to Sullivan, the Week Nine bye is a blessing in disguise.

“We were looking at it and Week Nine looks like the worst time for a bye,” Sullivan said. “[However,] It comes at a perfect time because we need to jump back on the horse.”

The Vikings will fight for a spot in the playoffs against the Mountain View High School Spartans (6-3, 3-2) at 7:00pm on Nov. 4 at Mountain View.