Gunn High head coach Brandon Boyd had a message for Santa Clara just before the opening kickoff of Friday night.
"Be nice to us!" yelled Boyd, as the teams lined up to begin the game. "Be nice to us, fellas!"
Santa Clara proceeded to return the kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. And it was all uphill for Boyd from there.
Gunn couldn't have had a more inauspicious beginning to its league season, taking a 62-18 walloping from the host Bruins in a game that wasn't even that close.
Santa Clara (3-1, 1-0) led, 28-0, after one quarter, and then scored again eight seconds into the second quarter to go up 35-0. Gunn had no answer for its opponent's passing game -- quarterback Chris Brown threw for 298 yards and five touchdowns -- and trailed, 62-6, at halftime.
The Bruins' final score came on a 100-yard interception return by Richard Whalen, as SC scored 34 points in the second quarter.
That triggered the always-magical running clock for the entire second half, in which Gunn scored two touchdowns.
"It was important to end on a good note and claim some positive momentum," said Boyd, whose team is now 2-3 overall, 0-1 in league. "We're a bit short on numbers (20 active players) and that takes its toll. But no one was down or hanging their heads. We rebounded a bit in the second half."
Gunn scored its first TD on quarterback Hudson Alexander's five-yard run, a keeper over left tackle, with 8:30 remaining in the second quarter.
Solomone Paletua took over at QB in the second half and engineered two scoring drives -- the first for 68 yards -- including his own 21-yard run. That ended with his 10-yard scramble for a TD with 6:01 left in the third quarter.
And Gunn scored again late in the fourth quarter on Paletua's 19-yard pass to Lee Howard. The key play in that drive was DJ Barnes' 25-yard reception from Paletua -- with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Bruins tacked on to get the ball to the 35.
Palo Alto 28, at Homestead 14
Palo Alto limited the Mustangs to 121 rushing yards and 215 total yards. Homestead averaged 257 rushing yards a game coming into the contest.
Aiden Chang was the Vikings' workhouse, ploughing up yardage and allowing Palo Alto to control the tempo. Wes Walters was tough to tackle.
Quarterback Kyle Mostofizadah was thrifty with his passes but made nice gains by getting the ball to Paul Thie and Jamir Shepard.