By TOM CONNOLLY
Special to the Register
PLACENTIA - Entering Thursday night's Empire League game against Loara, Valencia football coach Mike Marrujo said he would find out what his team was made of after the Tigers suffered their first loss of the season last week to Kennedy. Wes Fletcher scored three touchdowns as Valencia responded with a 38-6 victory over the Saxons at Valencia High. "We played a lot cleaner tonight," Marrujo said. "We didn't turn the ball over, and we didn't have the penalties that we did last week. I'm very pleased with our performance."
In the first quarter, Jessie Camarena's interception led to DJ Russell's 27-yard field goal that gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Later in the quarter, Valencia marched 76 yards in seven plays to take a 10-0 lead. Alex Garcia finished the drive with a 7-yard run. The Tigers (7-1, 2-1) upped their lead in the second quarter to 17-0 on a 67-yard touchdown pass from Luis Cruz to Ray Magee. Magee finished with five catches for 109 yards and a TD .
The Saxons' second turnover of the game led to another Valencia score. This time Ken Cormier intercepted a pass and returned it 50 yards to the Loara 29. Fletcher scored four plays later to give the Tigers a 24-0 lead at halftime. Fletcher added two touchdown runs in the second half. He finished with 97 yards rushing on 18 carries. The Saxons (2-6, 1-2) had scoring opportunities in the first half but turned the ball over twice in Tigers territory and failed to score from the Valencia 1 late in the half. Garrett DeFries scored on a 1-yard run late in the fourth-quarter for Loara's lone score.
Loara 0 0 0 6 - 6
Valencia 10 14 7 7 - 38
Val - Russell 27 FG
Val - Garcia 7 run (Russell kick)
Val - Magee 67 pass from Cruz (Russell kick)
Val - Fletcher 4 run (Russell kick)
Val - Fletcher 3 run (Russell kick)
Val - Fletcher 27 run (Russell kick)
Loa - DeFries 1 run (run failed)
Rushing- Loa, Acosta 7-72, DeFries 20-82; Val, Fletcher 18-97, Garcia 3-43,
Passing- Loa, Acosta 4-12-2-8; Val, Cruz 8-10-0-136
Receiving- Loa, Lorah 3-5; Val, Magee 5-109, Pitts 2-28