By TIM BURT
The Orange County Register
IRVINE - Valencia quarterback Luis Cruz and his teammates handled the blitz with flying colors Friday night against Irvine. Cruz got the protection he needed, throwing two touchdown passes to lead the Tigers to a 31-0 nonleague victory at Irvine High. Cruz completed 9 of 17 passes for 242 yards, and Wes Fletcher rushed for 146 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown.
Wide receiver Ray Magee also came through for Valencia, hauling in five catches for 155 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown catch on the final play of the second quarter. "They were blitzing everyone and manning up (playing man-to-man defensively)," Valencia coach Mike Marrujo said. "And Ray was making the plays. "He made that big play right before the half which certainly was a real boost for us."
Valencia (5-0) took a 3-0 lead on a 31-yard field goal by D.J. Russell with 5:25 left in the first quarter. Fletcher's 8-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter gave the Tigers a 10-0 lead. Valencia then delivered the knockout blow against Irvine (3-2).
The Tigers advanced to the Irvine 28-yard line with one second left in the first half. Cruz then connected with Magee as time expired, putting the Tigers ahead, 17-0, at halftime. Valencia took a 24-0 lead when Cruz hit Josh Racobs on a 50-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. "I knew we were capable of doing it, I didn't know if we were going to come out and play like this," Cruz said.
Valencia 3 14 7 7 - 31
Irvine 0 0 0 0 - 0
Val - FG Russell 31
Val - Fletcher 8 run (Russell kick)
Val - Magee 28 pass from Cruz (Russell kick)
Val - Racobs 50 pass from Cruz (Russell kick)
Val - Torres 33 run (Russell kick)
Rushing- Val Fletcher 22-146, Torres 3-41; Irv Gately 12-4; Crumlich 1-7
Passing- Val Cruz 9-17-0-242; Irv Whitsell 5-28-1-85
Receiving- Val Magee 5-155, Racobs 1-50; Irv Souder 4-72, Pfeifer 1-13