Palo Alto's halftime lead evaporates in loss to Wilcox

Aiden Chang rushed for 95 yards and set up Paly's touchdown with a 63-yard gain. Photo by Karen Ambrose Hickey.

At halftime it looked like Palo Alto might repeat the upset win it came up with last year against Wilcox. The Vikings sprinted off the field as the half came to a close with a 10-6 lead.

But Wilcox turned things around in the second half and pulled away for a 27-10 victory.

Jamir Shepard/Karen Ambrose Hickey
“We lost a gritty game tonight,’’ Palo Alto coach Danny Sullivan said. “I’m really proud of the kids.’’

Both teams advance to the Central Coast Section playoffs. Palo Alto (3-7, 3-3) advances as the fourth-place team from the SCVAL De Anza Division.

Palo Alto received the opening kickoff and drove to the Wilcox 5-yard line thanks to two pass completions from Jackson Chryst to Jamir Shepard that totaled 54 yards. On fourth down, Tyler Foug came on and kicked a 22-yard field goal to put Paly up 3-0.

Wilcox (7-3, 5-1) went on a 15-play drive to take a 6-3 lead, and then was driving for another score when the Palo Alto defense came up with a fumble recovery in the end zone.

The Vikings took over at the 20 and on third and nine Aiden Chang took a handoff and broke a 63-yard run around right end.

“Everyone in the stadium expected us to pass,’’ Sullivan said. “We chose to run and executed it.’’

Three plays later Paul Jackson III scored on a 5-yard run and Palo Alto took a 10-6 lead into halftime.

But Wilcox rushed for 223 of its 345 yards in the second half and completely shut down the Palo Alto offense. The Vikings had only one first down in the second half, and that came on a penalty.

Quarterback David Hernandez scored on a 16-yard run to give Wilcox the lead then broke the game open with an 83-yard touchdown run.

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3 people like this
Posted by Concerned Paly Citizen
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 10, 2017 at 8:27 am

We chose to run and executed it? Maybe you executed the run on the play where Aiden Chang broke away, but otherwise I’m pretty sure Wilcox had an answer for the running game. Why we don’t choose to pass more (other than on 3rd and long) is what was baffling all of the people in the stands, on this night and frankly on every other night. Our lack of commitment to the pass has meant that our passing attack is never able to find its rhythm and it allows other teams to focus on stopping our running game, so our play calling is hurting both elements of our offense. This was a winnable game! This team’s record is not an accurate reflection of the talent on the field as much as it is a reflection of the judgement and play calling on our sideline. Peace out

Like this comment
Posted by Just Maybe?
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 11, 2017 at 4:57 pm

Maybe they are consistently inconsistent throwing the ball? Seems to be what the stats say...

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