PALO ALTO — The 1-2 punch of juniors Paul Lautaimi and Camron Grant could not be contained Friday night on the road.
Then, it was up to Aragon senior Frankie Paredes to put the finishing touch on a 48-14 drubbing at Palo Alto.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound backup running back punctuated the victory with nine carries for 48 yards in a fourth-quarter that consisted entirely of handoffs to Paredes, including a 1-yard touchdown that put into effect the running clock.
“He is the most unselfish, hard-working, selfless kid,” said Aragon coach Steve Sell, who pointed out Paredes also recovered the loose ball on a pooch kickoff to open the third quarter. “And sometimes when he gets into a game, it’s not with our first-string line. And so it’s really great. You love to see a great kid have success.”
The Dons (3-0) needed to throw the ball twice in the second half, as the ground game produced four unanswered touchdowns to break open a 21-14 contest at intermission.
Lautaimi paved the way with 18 carries for 158 yards, with touchdowns of 27 and 18 yards. Meanwhile, Grant churned out 42 yards on seven carries and found the end zone three times (3, 21, 9).
“I think our depth came into play,” Sell said. “Because none of those guys on that offensive line play on defense. And they had guys playing both ways, so I think we kind of wore them down a little bit.”
Paly (0-4) already found itself shorthanded with running backs Paul Jackson III unavailable with a hamstring injury, then his backup Sione Latu ruled out in the morning.
To make things worse, quarterback Jackson Chryst suffered a left leg injury after he was sacked a second time in the team’s opening possession. He did not return to the game and was on crutches in the second half.
“One of the benefits is that we do have our first league game next week and then we get a bye,” said Paly coach Danny Sullivan, who added linebacker/tight end Seattle Hmelar to the injury report. “We’ll see how many guys we get back and go from there.”
The Vikings trailed 7-0 after a defensive back fell on the opening drive of the game as Aragon wide receiver Davion Cox caught a 28-yard touchdown from quarterback Gabe Campos, who was an efficient 7 of 10 for 132 yards.
After the ensuing three-and-out series that knocked out Chryst, the Dons doubled the lead on a drive that began with a 35-yard completion to Cox and ended with Grant’s first touchdown.
With things looking bleak, Paly backup QB Kyle Mostofizadeh came off the bench and promptly threw a quick slant to wide receiver Jamir Shepard. The sophomore did the rest, pulling away for a 77-yard touchdown.
Shepard stuck again with 48 seconds left in the half, this time another quick slant that found him dragging seven defenders into the end zone on a 19-yard touchdown.
In relief duty, Mostofizadeh finished 6-of-8 for 131 yards in the first half.
“I can’t say enough about Kyle, for him to step in right there,” Sullivan said. “It would’ve been so easy for us to quit down 14-0, quarterback goes out of the game. Instead, he makes play, Jamir Shepard makes a play and we’re kind of right back in it.
“And to be down 7 at half, it says a lot about my kids. They’re not going to quit, but we had a couple of hiccups there in the second half.”
After a tough nonleague slate, Paly turns its attention to the SCVAL De Anza next week, with the bye just around the corner.
“I’ll say this, we’re 0-0 right now — and so is everyone in our league,” Sullivan said. “That’s one thing that we know we have going for us. Everything is kind of up for grabs.”
Los Gatos 14 7 13 14 — 48
Palo Alto 8 6 0 0 — 14
LG — Cox 28 pass from Campos (Hernandez kick), 8:51
LG — Grant 3 run (Hernandez kick), 3:24
PA — Shepard 77 pass from Mostofizadeh (Walters pass from Mostofizadeh), 2:12
LG — Lautaimi 27 run (Hernandez kick), 5:27
PA — Shepard 19 pass from Mostofizadeh (kick blocked), 0:48
LG — Grant 21 run (kick blocked), 11:15
LG — Lautaimi 18 run (Hernandez kick), 3:40
LG — Grant 9 run (Hernandez kick), 11:56
LG — Paredes 1 run (Hernandez kick)
RUSHING—Los Gatos, Lautaimi 18-158, Paredes 9-48, Grant 7-42, Robinson 2-12, Campos 3-(-8). Palo Alto, Chang 14-69, Soto 8-12, Walters 3-10, Thie 2-6, Team 1-(-6), Chryst 2-(-14), Mostofizadeh 1-(-15).
PASSING—Los Gatos, Campos 7-10-0 132. Palo Alto, Mostofizadeh 8-14-0 162.
RECEIVING—Los Gatos, Cox 3-77, Robinson 2-36, Grant 1-13, Muller 1-6. Palo Alto, Thie 3-37, Shepard 2-96, Walters 1-13, Passarello 1-11, Chang 1-5.
Records: Los Gatos 3-0; Palo Alto 0-4.
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