BY NICK TAYLOR
SPECIAL TO OCVARSITY.COM
ANAHEIM - Valencia stopped Beau Harvey at the goal line on the game´s final play to defeat Kennedy, 14-13, and cap a wild ending that kept the Vikings' playoff hopes alive.
The Fighting Irish (7-3, 3-3) reached the Tigers´ 1 with 25 seconds to play, but instead of spiking the ball to stop the clock, Kennedy, which was out of timeouts, let the seconds tick down before trying Harvey´s sneak up the gut. It failed. "I screwed up," Kennedy coach Brit Johnson said. "I should have had us spike it. The kids made the plays. We coaches panicked."
Valencia (5-5, 2-4) took the lead on Chase French´s 85-yard kickoff return with 1:20 left to play and Calab Carreno´s extra point moments after Ervin Leuga´s 6-yard scoring catch had given Kennedy a 13-7 lead.
The Empire League victory gave the Tigers five victories and hope for an at-large playoff berth. Kennedy will enter the playoffs as the league´s No. 3 team. "We´ll go on the road and hopefully go and bite somebody," Johnson said.