The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

We want to hear your voice!

Which school event do you most look forward to this year?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Vikings blow out Spartans in playoffs

The Viking’s offense lines up against the Spartans in the first round of Division 4 Central Coast Section playoffs on Friday at home. The Vikings routed the Spartans in a 55-21 victory on Friday. According to Viking head coach David DeGeronimo, the Vikings wore out the Spartans throughout the match, both physically and mentally. “We had a good game plan,” DeGeronimo said. “They made some good plays, but I think we just kind of kept wearing them down once they realized they couldn’t stop us. It’s hard for them to keep coming throughout the game.” (Photo: Maxwell Zhang)

In the first round of Division 4 Central Coast Section playoffs, the Palo Alto High School Viking varsity football team (3-2) crushed the Seaside High School Spartans (5-1), 55-21, on Friday at home in a game filled with fast-paced offensive plays.

The star of the game was Viking senior running back Jeremiah Madrigal, who scored four rushing touchdowns. 

Madrigal said the team was riled up after the landslide victory over the Spartans.

“We were energized and everybody was happy,” Madrigal said. “Everybody was touching the ball, and the defense came in clutch at the end with major stops.”

According to Viking senior quarterback Declan Packer, the increased use of the running game helped ease the pressure for him. 

“We were able to run the ball from the start of the game, which really helps me out,” Packer said. “I love watching Jeremiah [Madrigal] run the ball.”

According to Madrigal, the team was extra-motivated at practices coming off the close win against the King’s Academy Knights (3-2) last week. 

“We wanted to continue what we had ended off last week with that win, so we had to keep working hard,” Madrigal said. “Everybody was at practice and we brought some new kids up [from JV], so there were some really intense practices this week.” 

The Vikings started the first quarter with a series of four running plays that ended with a 1-yard touchdown rush by Madrigal, setting the score to 7-0. The Spartans responded with a quick drive for 65 yards, equalizing the match at 7-7. With a little help with a fumble recovery from Viking senior defensive end Orasio Becerra, the Vikings then executed two more touchdowns, both by Madrigal, ending the quarter at 21-7. 

In the second quarter, both teams’ defense shut down offensive plays. The Vikings came within 5 yards of scoring a touchdown, but the ball was fumbled near the end zone and recovered by the Spartans. To end the half, the Vikings carried out a seven-play drive that ended with a four-yard rushing touchdown by Madrigal, his fourth, to expand the Viking’s lead to 27-7.

According to Spartan head coach Alfred Avila, the Spartans went out into the second half playing harder due to missed opportunities in the first half. 

“We probably should have scored two more times in the first half,” Avila said. “They didn’t stop us, it was us stopping ourselves. So [at halftime] we just saw our kids come out and keep playing hard and they did [in the first half].”

In the third quarter, the Vikings kept their momentum up after a three-play drive resulted in a 43-yard touchdown pass from Packer to junior wide receiver Jeremiah Fung, increasing their lead to 34-7. The Spartans responded with an eight-play drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown rush by senior quarterback Jamari Vaughns, closing the gap slightly to 34-14. The Vikings and Spartans continued their offensive scoring with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Viking senior wide receiver Jason Auzenne, and a 12-yard rush by Spartan senior running back Andrew Beal, making the score 41-21 at the end of the quarter. 

In the last quarter, the Vikings maintained their momentum and executed a 3-play drive resulting in a 15-yard touchdown rush by Auzenne, increasing the Viking’s lead to 48-21. After the Spartans were stopped short of the end zone, three consecutive running plays totaling 78-yards by Viking junior running back Isaiah Phillips resulted in the final touchdown of the game, with a score of 55-21.  

According to Madrigal, the team is now looking towards the end goal of being the division champions. 

“We’re just fired up,” Madrigal said. “We want to go to L.A. as a team, and we want to go to State. We want to win it all the way. A bunch of the players are really excited to get one more ring.”

Viking head coach David DeGeronimo said that even though the run game was dominant in this match, it will not necessarily be in the future, and the Vikings will have to continue being dominant in all parts of the ball game.

“We need to have a balanced offense,” DeGeronimo said. “We really struggled with the run game [during the regular season]. We did play a very tough schedule, but the other thing is we weren’t healthy on the offensive line, and we had a different offensive line every week for five straight weeks.”

According to Beal, the best part of playing football was being able to hang out with people he cared about. 

The greatest moments were getting to spend it [the season] with my brothers, my seniors,” Beal said. “We’ve been together since we were little kids, and it was one hell of a ride.”

The Vikings are scheduled to play their next CCS playoffs match at 7 p.m. Friday against the Leigh High School Longhorns (4-1) at home.

‎ ‎

Game Statistics (Courtesy of Voice reporters): 

Vikings: 365 rushing yards, 241 passing yards, 34 first downs, 1 fumble, 0 interceptions

Spartans: 191 rushing yards, 197 passing yards, 27 first downs, 2 fumbles, 0 interceptions

Player Stats (MaxPreps)

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Ketan Altekar-Okazaki
Ketan Altekar-Okazaki, Senior Staff Writer
Ketan Altekar-Okazaki (Class of 2024) joined The Voice his junior year and enjoys volunteering in his free time.
Maxwell Zhang
Maxwell Zhang, Senior Staff Writer
Maxwell Zhang (Class of 2024) joined The Voice his sophomore year and wishes to pursue management and STEM in college.

Comments (0)

All The Paly Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *