Samohi’s Will Taylor is tackled by a Pali defender on Friday. Taylor would go on to score three touchdowns. (Morgan Genser news@smdp.com)

PACIFIC PALISADES — Just when it seemed that Santa Monica liked to air out the football they decided to turn the page in their playbook and kept things on the ground against host Palisades on Friday.

Behind six total rushing touchdowns, Samohi dispatched longtime rival Palisades, 53-12, while improving to 2-0 on the season.

“If they give us the run, that’s what we’ll do,” Samohi head coach Travis Clark said. “We’re going to do what they allow us to do, run or pass.”

From the initial kick off it was obvious Samohi came to play. Wide receiver Sebastian LaRue got things started with a 61-yard return to set up the game’s first score. Junior running back Will Taylor ensured that the return would pay off when he scored on a 10-yard scamper just 50 seconds into the game.

Taylor would go on to score two more rushing touchdowns on the night.

“[Palisades] looked good stopping the run on film,” Taylor said. “I just followed my blocks. I had to step up.”

By the time the half came around Samohi held a decisive 43-6 lead.

Samohi’s Clark, satisfied with the lead, rested most of his starters for long stretches during a second half that was more of a formality than anything.

For Palisades, the loss evens their record at 1-1.

“They are a really explosive team,” Palisades head coach Perry Jones said of Samohi. “When you let a team like that rip off long gains you know it’s going to get bad real quick.”

On top of the gaudy offensive numbers, Samohi was successful at stifling Palisades’ wishbone running attack all evening. It wasn’t until late in the second quarter that Pali would finally score, but the game was already out of hand with Samohi holding a 43-6 advantage.

Pali would add another score when Justin Sinclair ran for a 9-yard fourth quarter touchdown against mostly Samohi backups.

With two routs behind them, Samohi moves on to face powerhouse Mater Dei on Thursday.

Despite entering the game as underdogs, Clark is feeling confident about his Vikings.

“I have respect for them,” Clark said. “But, I’m not afraid. Every high school football team has a weakness.”

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