Archbishop Mitty vs Palo Alto
Over the past three years,the Vikings and the Monarchs have developed a fierce rivalry with Palo Alto winning two out of the three games they played against each other. This game was a pretty even match up with both offense lighting up the scoreboard.
Coming off a dominating victory against Leland and a close win over CCS powerhouse Los Gatos in week 1, Mitty faced their biggest opponent yet. Mitty’s stingy defense led by Jason Sutton and OL Daniel Mendoza, the Monarchs took aim on the Vikings Big Green Machine Keller Chryst.
Chryst, a 6’4″, 230 lb junior QB fired bullets to his favorite receiver Malcolm Davis. With one year of varsity play under his belt, Chryst is looking to lead the Vikings to another CCS appearance and possibly more but the task at hand called for the Vikings slowing down the Mitty Monarch’s momentum.
In a game where big plays and dramatic finishes are a expected, Mitty, the number 9 ranked team surprisingly drove down the field first for a score. The drama started right from the get go when Monarchs sophomore star Dakari Monroe made a sophomore mistake as he was stripped off the ball on the opening kick off by Palo Alto’s Tully McCalister. With the ball rolling loose on the damp turf grass of the Vikings home field, Monroe’s fellow returner Kyle Evans scoops the ball and runs it several more yards pass mid-field and into Palo Altos territory. Mitty with great field position finishes the drive with Chandler Ramirez’s 15 yard TD run.
Palo Alto’s offense started strong with a combination of short passes and short runs. But the Vikings showed one or two noticeable flaws right away, the first was a 2nd and long deep ball from Chryst to the end zone that bounced off his receivers hands for an incompletion and another would be first down reception that was juggled and dropped by another receiver right pass the first down mark. That would’ve given the Vikings the opportunity to keep moving the ball and possibly tie the game up. The poor execution by Paly will eventually hunt them late in the game.
Mitty on the other hand came in as the underdog but with focus to execute. Monarchs QB Wyatt Hansen who threw three picks against Leland was on point and near perfect as he completed passes on crucial situations. After Palo Alto went up 14-7 on a 50 yard bomb from Chryst to Davis, the home crowd was silenced immediately as Mitty answered right back with Monroe returning the ensuing kick off 99 yards for the tie. Palo Alto would go three and out and that gave Hansen and the Monarchs’ offense the opportunity to keep the momentum going. Hansen opened up the series with a perfect pass to Monroe streaking down the left side with Palo Alto safety Andrew Frick making the touchdown saving tackle. Hansen threw two more completions until finally placing a nice lob to the corner of the end zone where his teammate Andrew Scott came up with the ball as he dove for it. That made it 21-14 going in to the half.
In the fourth quarter Mitty would extend their lead 28-14 on a 5 yard run by Evans with Hansen completing two first down passes to Scott and Jacob Wesson prior to the score.
With a little over 5 minutes left in the game Chryst will lead his team down field again, firing a 20 yard bullet to De’Antay Williams and a 25 yard pass to Davis. To add some more drama to the mix, the Vikings scoreboard decided to go dark leaving everyone in the stadium on the edge of their seats as the official time clock was now kept by the officials on the field as if it were a soccer match.
On third and long inside the twenty, Chryst took the snap and gets flushed out of the pocket right away. The Monarchs defense determined to bring down the Big Green Machine but Chryst is not your average quarterback. Aside from the fact that he can throw bullets and strikes at his target, Chryst is very agile and can run like a full back. As he scrambles to find an open man, Chryst sheds off would be tacklers effortlessly. Finally he sees a wide open receiver and fired away. Chryst’s pass was thrown off balance but perfect as it reached its destination. For a split second, the crowed roared in unison as they watch the ball touch the open receiver’s hands but that was all it was… a touch. Because the ball bounced right off and on to the ground turning everyone’s jubilation into an “awe” of disappointment. The Vikings quickly got back on track using its outside speed as Chryst hands it to Matt Tolbert who scored his second TD of the night. Tolbert tied the game in the second quarter following a Monarchs fumble inside the Mitty’s ten.
Mitty would go three and out after Palo Alto cut the lead to 7 and with the momentum on their side, Palo Alto went for the big play. Chryst threw a perfect pass to the streaking Davis up the middle. The deadly combination of the Big Green Machine’s arm and the speed of Davis was so perfect that not even Mitty’s fastest and quickest defender could keep up. The score is now 28-27 as the Vikings line up for the point after kick. With the crowd still roaring with amazement, the unexpected happen. A high snap on the PAT forced the holder, who happens to be Davis, who just scored the TD, to pull up the snap and scramble in desperation to find an open Viking in the end zone. Davis was brought down by a swarm of Monarchs hushing the home crowd as the echoing cheer of the visiting stand erupted.
Palo Alto would get the last opportunity as they get the ball back with seconds left. But Vikings couldn’t bounce back fumbling the ball and turning it over to the Monarchs. Game over, Mitty wins.
There is a great chance that the two teams would face each other again when playoffs comes around in late November. But this one’s in the history books. Another epic match up between two great football programs, public school versus private school.