By BRIAN SMITH
SPECIAL TO THE REGISTER
ANAHEIM Ninety-nine yards, less than five minutes to go and down by six. No problem. After fighting back from a 27-point third-quarter deficit, Valencia got the winning TD with 1:13 to go to upset Western, 28-27, in an Empire League shocker Thursday at Western High.
After a Pioneers punt gave the Tigers (4-5, 1-4) the ball at their 1 with 4:22 to go, quarterback Robert Mata engineered an 11-play drive that had four completions to Greg Hammond, including a 16-yard screen pass to tie the score at 27. Caleb Carreno tacked on the point after.
Western (0-5, 2-7) could do nothing with its final drive, a pair of incomplete passes sealing its fate. Three Marcus Hays touchdowns and a Domonique Young 17-yard fumble return helped Western take a 27-0 lead at the half. Valencia scored on all four second-half possessions. Mata found Mac Langenwalter and Hammond with scoring passes and Omar Perez had a 1-yard scoring run.