PLACENTIA Valencia converted Yorba Linda´s early miscues into points and then finished strong in the fourth quarter en route to a 35-14 victory in a key Empire League game Friday at Valencia High. The victory keeps the Tigers (5-3, 3-1) in second place behind Tustin with two games remaining. Yorba Linda (5- - , - ) likely three remaining games for a shot at the playoffs.
Quarterback Jesse Godoy completed 9 of 11 passes for 92 yards and three touchdowns and running back Levi Perez carried 19 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tigers. The Tigers also won the battle in the trenches. "A lot of guys were making plays on both sides of the ball," Valencia coach Mike Marrujo said.
The Tigers started their first drive on the Yorba Linda 47 and ended it on a 14-yard scoring run by Perez. On the ensuing possession, the Mustangs fumbled on their first play. Three plays later, Godoy connected with Jake Watkins for a 20-yard touchdown to make the score 14-0.
Yorba Linda fought back to tie on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Summers to Nate Klinkenberg and a 59-yard scoring run by Brayden Massie. Late in the third quarter, Godoy found Jack Van Dam for an 8-yard score to get the lead back for the Valencia.
Watkins then made an interception to set up Godoy´s third touchdown pass, this one to Isaiah Easley for 5 yards. Valencia´s best drive of the game was its last one. Ahead 28-14, the Tigers started on their 32 with 9:17 remaining in the contest. Fourteen plays later, Perez scored on an 11-yard run, leaving just 1:27 on the clock.