Football preview: Paly to take on Los Gatos in playoffs

Marvin Zou, Sports Editor

The Vikings’ defense lines up against Saint Ignatius High School on Aug. 24. This was the Vikings’ first game of the season and the team went on to win the game 21-14. Photo: Margaret Li

Update: Due to poor air quality, the game has been rescheduled to Monday at 6 p.m.

After receiving the third seed in the Central Coast Section playoffs, the Palo Alto High School football team (9-1, 5-1) will face the sixth-seeded Los Gatos Wildcats (6-4, 3-3) in the first round of the playoffs at 7 p.m. on Friday at Paly.

This will be the second time the two teams have faced off this season, with the Vikings winning the first meeting, 35-10 on Oct. 26 at Paly.

The Vikings’ offense was explosive and efficient the first time they faced Los Gatos, with senior quarterback Jackson Chryst throwing for 380 yards and five touchdowns and junior receiver Jamir Shepard catching three balls for 205 yards and three touchdowns.

The Los Gatos offense struggled to move the ball down the field in the first meet-up, only accumulating accumulating just 169 total yards in their loss.

For the upcoming playoff game, Chryst said the team must bring the same energy they brought in the first matchup.

“We are excited to be hosting our first [CCS] game in a couple years,” Chryst said. “We are ready to face a Los Gatos team that will want nothing more than to beat us.”

Senior linebacker Wes Walters, who played a large part in limiting the Los Gatos offense to ten points in the last matchup, said that the team will need to be prepared for anything that the Wildcats throw at them.

“We know they are going to make some adjustments, so we have put in a few counters to what they think we are going to do,” Walters said.

Although the Vikings are preparing themselves for Los Gatos to switch things up, Walters said that they still plan on executing like they did in the first matchup.

“We were successful against them the first time so we don’t want to change up a whole lot,” Walters said.

The winner of the game on Friday will play either the second-seeded Menlo-Atherton Bears or the seventh-seeded Milpitas Trojans, whom the Vikings previously beat 41-13 in league play. The game will be held the following week at the higher seed’s home turf.