The Palos Verdes football season got off to a strong start Friday afternoon, as the Sea Kings scored on the ground, through the air and on special teams to beat visiting Mission Hills of San Marcos, 28-15.
Led by a stout front four, the Sea Kings defense stifled the Grizzlies attack throughout the game. But the win wasn’t without its first-game jitters as the Sea Kings offense seem to stall in the second half.
“In a lot of ways, it looked like the first game,” said Palos Verdes coach Guy Gardner. “There were some good plays out there and there were some bad plays. We need to get in better shape and work on some things, but overall not a bad outing.”
In the first half, PV capitalized on a strong offensive attack when quarterback Jake Jellison connected with receiver Julian Alessi to go up 14-0.
“It was nice to get out there and get the first win,” Alessi said. “Now we need to focus on conditioning and getting better as a team.”
A Sea Kings fumble helped Mission Hills get in striking distance for a score. Running back Jason Boyle’s 3-yard touchdown cut PV’s lead to 14-6 in the second quarter.
The Grizzlies (0-1), however, had trouble on special teams throughout the game.
Palos Verdes junior Kevin Rahman blocked a punt deep in Mission Hills territory and scooped it up for a 1-yard score, extending the lead to 21-6 before halftime.
In the third quarter, Sea Kings backup quarterback Michael Nagy — in the game because starter Jellison had his helmet pop off during the previous play — took a keeper 3 yards to go up 28-6.
Bad snaps, missed assignments and a few blunders kept Palos Verdes from reaching the red zone the rest of the game. The Sea Kings also gave up a safety late in the game.
The Palos Verdes defensive play was consistent throughout.
Senior Joseph Quinn jumped a route and intercepted Mission Hills quarterback Jackson Oksnee’s pass to end a promising Mission Hills drive. With 10:30 left in the fourth, PV stopped the Grizzlies from scoring on the 2-yard line on fourth down.
“We had some nice plays on defense,” Gardner said. “We were able to get that goal-line stand and keep them from scoring.”
Senior David Lam also registered an interception early in the game.
The Grizzlies capped an eight-minute drive in the fourth with a 12-yard touchdown strike from Oksnee to receiver Cameron Woolsey to shrink the lead to 28-15.
Palos Verdes plays Moorpark on Friday, Aug. 30.