By DAN ALBANO
The Orange County Register
ORANGE - Valencia football coach Mike Marrujo watched Villa Park last week and had a message for his team for their season opener Friday against the Spartans: Stop the run. Valencia's defense did just that, holding Villa Park to 21 yards rushing in the Tigers' 17-0 nonleague victory in front of an estimated 3,500 at El Modena. Last week against Righetti, Villa Park's Derek Hines and Steve Munoz combined for 368 yards rushing. Marrujo joked that it seemed like the Spartans scored "five 50-yard runs in a row."
The Spartans' longest run Friday was 12 yards. "I was pleased," Marrujo said. "We played really good run defense." Villa Park (1-1) finished with 49 yards of total offense. The Tigers' defensive line featured a rotation of Joe Becerra, Jon Hamilton, Mark Luna and Zach Johnson. None started last season, but they were part of a strong effort Friday.
Valencia got two sacks from Dave Torres and one from Ray Magee. "They're always solid," Villa Park coach Pat Mahoney said of Valencia.
Valencia's offense put together two long scoring drives and piled up 300 total yards on the night. Late in the first quarter, Magee capped an 11-play, 64-yard drive with a leaping 17-yard touchdown reception in the back of the end zone on a third-and-goal pass from Luis Cruz.
Valencia put together a 13-play, 68-yard scoring drive in the second quarter. Valencia inserted Wes Fletcher at running back and the sophomore sparked the drive. Cruz converted a fourth-and-2 at the Villa Park 9 with a 3 yard run, setting up Fletcher's 3-yard run with 4:03 left before halftime. Magee nearly made it a 20-point lead before halftime, but his interception return into the end zone was nullified by a roughing the passer penalty.
Valencia 7 7 0 3 - 17
Villa Park 0 0 0 0 - 0
Val-- Magee 17 pass from Cruz (Roberts kick)
Val -- Fletcher 3 run (Roberts kick)
Val -- FG Roberts 27
Rushing - Val, Fletcher, 25-125, Cruz, 7-22; VP, Hines, 10-38, Privitelli, 3-6
Passing - Val, Cruz, 15-26-0-124; VP, Wilkerson, 4-14-0-28
Receiving - Val, Racobs, 5-29, Cormier, 3-42, Magee, 3-38; VP, Pohlen, 2-23, Alvarez, 1-5