Vikings obliterate Los Altos, 74-14

Aaron Chum, Author

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Senior Gabe Landa returns a kickoff for a touchdown in Paly’s 74-14 rout of Los Altos High School Friday night.

– Matt Ersted

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The Palo Alto Vikings (7-2-0) continue their push for a spot in the Central Coast Section playoffs, after demolishing the Los Altos Eagles (1-8-0), 74-14, tonight on senior night.

The Vikings opened up the scoring five minutes into the game with an 8-yard touchdown run by senior running back Dre Hill.

Minutes later, the Vikings struck again, this time on a 57-yard punt return by senior Justin Grey.

The Eagles were able to respond with a minute remaining in the first quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run. The play was set up by a 71-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Lambie Lanman to senior wide receiver Bemi Onipede.

That was about all the Eagles had to cheer about on a night that featured tough defense by the Vikings assisted by big special teams plays.

On the ensuing kickoff, senior free safety Gabe Landa returned a squib kick 68 yards for a touchdown, extending the Vikings lead to 21-7.

“I knew watching film that they weren’t going to kick it to B.J. [Boyd] and they kicked it to me,” Landa said. “I scooped it up, saw a wide opening between two guys, and I took it.”

The touchdown was Landa’s first as a varsity player.

“I’ve been waiting for it, and it came today,” Landa said. “It was a good night to do it, it being senior night. It was a good night to do it.”

After a quick Eagles series that ended with a punt, sophomore quarterback Keller Chryst found senior running back B.J Boyd for 51 yards. On the next play, Hill scored from 29 yards out.

Chryst threw only two passes on the night, completing both for 85 yards and a touchdown. Chryst’s lone touchdown pass came with 35 seconds left in the half on a 34-yard pass to Hill.

Three other touchdowns by the Vikings led to a 55-7 score at halftime.

The Viking backups played the majority of the second half. Also, the Eagles elected to play with a running clock in the second half.

The Vikings added three touchdowns in the second half, increasing their lead to 74-7: a 75-yard kickoff return by senior B.J Boyd, a 61-yard run by junior Justin Gates-Mouton, and a 2-yard run by junior Matt Crist.

The Eagles tacked on a meaningless touchdown with 32 seconds left in the game, bringing the final score to 74-14.

Los Altos head coach Bill Waggoner explained his strategy for containing the Vikings during the game.

“We were just trying to slow the game down a little bit,” Waggoner said. “We gave up too many long plays, and we gave them too many short fields. That makes it really difficult.”

Hill said that the Vikings will have to stay focused and prepare well for their next game.

“We got to focus, lock in, everyone has to do their job. Milpitas is a good team, they are a very athletic team,” Hill said. “It’s going to be a good game, we just have to get our defense together and we will be okay.”

The Vikings will play the final game of the regular season against the Milpitas High School Trojans (7-1-0) at 7:30 p.m next Thursday in Milpitas.

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