Villa Park tailbacks bug Valencia, 36-18

The Orange County Register

PLACENTIA - As Villa Park coach Pat Mahoney approached the Valencia coaching staff at midfield after the game, he almost seemed apologetic. "We had three little gnats," he said. "You couldn't see them." Valencia definitely saw the backs of the Spartans running backs jerseys, however. Running backs Steven Muñoz, Johnny Privitelli and Anthony Privitelli combined for 423 yards rushing and four touchdowns in the Spartans' 36-18 nonleague victory Friday night against No. 10 Valencia at Valencia High.

All to Mahoney's surprise. "Yeah, I am. I really have a lot of respect for them," he said. "I think maybe they were a little *censored*y after last week's win (against Brea Olinda)."
The three running backs played what seemed like a game of who can top who. And Muñoz might have won, on a defensive play no less. In the third quarter, he sprinted about 50 yards to make a touchdown-saving tackle. After Valencia (1-1) scored a touchdown to trail 26-11, the 5-foot-10 Muñoz broke free for a 73-yard scoring run for the Spartans (1-0). In the first half, Anthony Privitelli, listed at 5-foot-7, ignited the Spartans' double wing offense with touchdown runs of 75 and 52 yards. He finished with 176 rushing yards on just five carries. Johnny Privitelli, listed at 5-foot-6, had a 42-yard touchdown run and finished with 143 yards rushing.

With Villa Park running on all three of its cylinders, Spartans' quarterback Andrew O'Connell attempted just six passes. In the third quarter, he found Trent Roberts for a 31-yard touchdown. Despite falling behind early, Valencia stuck with running back Wes Fletcher, who was coming off a 298-yard performance last week but was playing with a bruised thigh. Fletcher, an all-CIF sophomore last season, ran for 145 yards on 20 carries, including a 9-yard touchdown. He was held to under 10 yards, however, in all of his carries except for a 46-yard gain, in which he was caught by Muñoz. Tigers quarterback Marcus Beckman, under pressure all night by a blitzing Spartans defense, completed nine of 18 passes for 92 yards.

In 2005, Valencia defeated Villa Park, 17-0, in what was the Spartans' second game and the Tigers' first. Before that game, Valencia saw Villa Park run all over its Week 0 opponent. The Tigers then held Villa Park to 44 yards rushing. Coach Mahoney said not playing a Week 0 game might have benefited his team. "We've been getting ready for them all summer."

Villa Park 12 7 17 0 - 36
Valencia 0 3 8 7 - 18

VP - A. Privitelli 75 run (Jergenson Kick failed)
VP - J. Privitelli 42 run (O'Donnell Pass Failed)
Val - Russell 36 FG
VP - A. Privitelli 52 run (Jergenson Kick)
Val - Fletcher 9 run (Jackson pass from Beckman)
VP - Roberts 31 pass from O'Donnell (Jergenson Kick)
VP - Munoz 73 run (Jergenson Kick)
VP - Jergenson 38 FG
Val - Alverez 2 run (Russell Kick)

Rushing- Val, Fletcher 20-145, Garcia 5-47; VP, A. Privitelli 5-176, J. Privitelli 10-143, Munoz 12-104
Passing- Val, Beckman 9-18-0-92; VP, O'Donnell 4-6-0-50
Receiving- Val, Russell 5-51; VP, Roberts 2-46
Records:VP 0-0, 1-0; Val 0-0, 1-1

The Valencia Tigers