The Paly Voice

Loss ends Vikings' 14-game winning streak

Grant Raffel and Aaron Chum

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Sophomore quarterback Keller Chryst prepares to throw deep downfield during Paly’s 21-27 loss to Archbishop Mitty High School at Foothill Community College on September 16, 2011.

– Matt Ersted

The Palo Alto Vikings football team (1-1) lost its first game since the 2009 Central Coast Section playoffs Friday night to Archbishop Mitty, but looks to improve over the course of the season.

The Vikings fell to the Monarchs (2-1) at Foothill Community College, ending a 14-game winning streak.  The defeat also ended the Vikings’ recent success against the Monarchs, having won both contests last year.

“[Palo Alto is] a very good football team,” Mitty coach Matt Haniger said.  “They won 14 games in a row for a reason.”

This was the first time the Vikings took on the Monarchs since last year’s CCS playoffs when then-senior quarterback Christoph Bono connected with then-senior wide receiver Davante Adams on the game-winning touchdown, a 21-yarder in the final seconds.

Mitty made a few big plays Friday, notably a 72-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Barma to receiver Cail McClenahen with 9:42 remaining in the fourth quarter.  This came less than a minute after Paly’s tying touchdown, a 38-yard pass from quarterback Keller Chryst to running back BJ Boyd with 10:39 left in the game, swinging the momentum in the Monarchs’ favor.

“I think it just came down to [the fact] that Mitty made a few more plays than us,” said senior offensive and defensive lineman Tory Prati.

Despite Mitty’s touchdown that put them up 27-21, the Vikings got the ball back three times in the final 9:39 with good field position, but were unable to score.  With just more than a minute left, Paly forced Mitty to punt and took over from its own 34-yard line, but sophomore quarterback Keller Chryst could not connect with his receivers.  He threw an interception on fourth down to end the Vikings’ hopes.

Chryst, who threw for one touchdown and two interceptions, was disappointed by the Vikings’ lack of success on their final drive.

“We should have finished in the end, but we are just going to come back stronger and better,” Chryst said.

Assistant coach Steve Foug thinks Paly showed potential and needs to make small adjustments in preparation for its next game.

“[Our mistakes were] little things that are hard to see,” Foug said.  “Guys stepping the wrong way, stepping with the wrong foot … It’s stuff that early on happens.  You expect it to get better and better each week.  So if [we’re] better next week and better the week after that … we’re playing clean football.”

Chryst confidently looks forward to the rest of his first season with Paly.

“We are not going to lose again,” he said.

In its next game, Paly will travel across town to take on rival Gunn High School at 7:30 p.m. next Friday, Sept. 23.

 

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