In a rematch of last season’s City Division I championship game, Granada Hills used a stout defensive effort and big plays on offense and special teams to defeat host Palisades 26-10 in the school’s annual Charter Bowl game.
The Highlanders (1-1-1) ended a nine-game losing streak in the rivalry and carried the bronze trophy to their sideline, much to the delight of coach Bucky Brooks and his players.
“They blew us out here my freshman year and that made me really angry,” running back Kanye Martin said. “And even though we beat them handily [44-7] in the finals last year, we didn’t get the trophy. Tonight, it was all about bringing the trophy home with us.”
Martin and and Darrell Stanley each ran for over 100 yards as the Highlanders intercepted a pass and recovered two fumbles to snuff out Palisades drives.
Palisades and Granada Hills achieved independent charter status in 2003, making them the first two high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District to do so. The grudge game between them was started in 2006 and Palisades holds an 11-5 lead. Last year’s game was canceled because of extreme heat in the San Fernando Valley.
“I’m really an offensive guy but coach put me in at linebacker and I made a play,” said Martin, who scored on a 71-yard touchdown run to give Granada Hills a 12-7 lead late in the second quarter. “This makes us joyful. We always knew we had it in us to play like this, we just didn’t show it the first two games.”
Stanley returned a kickoff 80 yards for Granada Hills’ first touchdown, then put the game out of reach with a 59-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. Nasir Enilolobo ran for a 76-yard touchdown to make it 18-7 in the third quarter, but Palisades answered with a field goal.
Saxon Wald caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Roman La Scala to give the host Dolphins (2-1) a 7-0 lead in the second quarter, but Stanley took the ensuing kickoff the distance and the Highlanders were on their way to victory.
Granada Hills won four of the first six games in the rivalry but Palisades had won the previous nine by an average of 25 points. There was no game in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The win marked Granada Hills’ first road victory in the series in seven tries.