Football: Rally's block preserves win for ECR
Kawan Rally rushed for 126 yards and four touchdowns and had several huge tackles, but it was a play he made on special teams that allowed Woodland Hills El Camino Real to escape with a 36-35 victory over host Palisades on Friday night.
The 235-lb. junior, who plays both running back and linebacker, broke through the line and blocked a game-tying extra point try by Palisades kicker Alex Anastasi with 11 seconds remaining and, after a failed onside kick, the Conquistadores (1-1) ran off the final few seconds.
"I just bull-rushed and got my right hand on the ball," said Rally, who has scored five of his team's six touchdowns this season. "As far as running, it's all about the [offensive] line. My guys did a great job. The thing to do when you get hit is just keep moving your feet."
Rally carried the ball 21 times and scored on runs of 1, 3, 5 and 9 yards. In fact, he broke only two runs over 20 yards, but he seemed to get stronger in the fourth quarter when it took as many as four or five tacklers to bring him down. Quarterback Travis Moss attempted two passes, both incompletions.
"I knew their wishbone would give us problems and it did," El Camino Real coach Kevin Williams said. "They [Palisades] struggled last year, but that's not a 1-9 team... and if it is, we're in trouble!"
Palisades quarterback Branden Sanett threw three touchdown passes, the last a 34-yard strike to Ben Ingram that pulled the Dolphins (0-1) to within one point and set the stage for Rally's heroics. Malcolm Creer returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown that tied the game 21-21 in the third quarter and Turner Hanley had two touchdown catches and a fumble recovery for Palisades.
"I was expecting it to be a real tough game," said Rally, who rushed for 1,094 yards and scored 14 touchdowns as a sophomore. "We were down [14-6] at halftime, but we just weren't going to lose."
-- Steve Galluzzo