Football: Will anybody in league score on Venice?
Venice appears headed for its 11th straight Western League title, but its biggest roadblock could come Friday night against visiting Palisades, which is determined to defeat its archrival for the first time in a dozen tries. Both enter the contest 3-0 in league play.
One thing is certain _ to pull off the upset, the Dolphins will need to score and that's something none of Venice's first three league opponents were able to do. The Gondoliers shut down Westchester, 62-0, Hamilton, 55-0 and University, 57-0, in road victories. However, keeping the Dolphins off of the board won't be easy. Palisades has greatly improved since nonleague losses to Santa Monica, Encino Crespi and Vista Murrieta and has averaged 34 points in its three league wins.
The question is whether the Dolphins get psyched out if they fall behind early. The last time Palisades topped Venice was in 2000 when Ron Price was still the coach and the quarterback was David Koral, who earlier that year set a national record by throwing for 764 yards at Van Nuys Grant. It's unlikely seniors on the current squad even remember. They were in first grade at the time.
Whoever wins Friday takes over sole possession of first place heading into the last week of the regular season. Venice is third in the City Section Division I rankings and should the Gondos prevail they would carry a 37-game league winning streak into their finale with Fairfax, which dealt Venice its last league loss in 2005.
-- Steve Galluzzo