PLACENTIA - The sound of the Victory Bell triggers two vastly different emotions. For the winner, the constant ringing signifies the start of a raucous community celebration. For the loser, it serves as the constant reminder of what could have been. After an evenly played first half Friday night, Valencia and El Dorado were deadlocked vying for the rights to the city´s Victory Bell.
The Tigers´ physically imposing style of play proved to be the difference, however, as Valencia scored 17 consecutive points in the second half to outlast El Dorado, 24-7, in the annual Battle of the Bell game played in front of a packed house at Valencia High. "This is big for the players, but it´s really big for the community," said Valencia head coach Mike Marrujo. "We won it last year as well, so we´re really pleased."
After the two Placentia based rivals took a 7-7 tie into halftime, it was Valencia which came out as the aggressor in the second half. The Tigers (3-1) opened the third quarter with a methodical 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Valencia ran the ball 10 times, and only went to the air on three occasions before running back Tom Torres capped the drive with a bruising 8-yard touchdown run to reclaim a 14-7 advantage.
The Golden Hawks (0-4) offense went three-and-out on the ensuing drive, allowing Valencia´s quarterback, Patrick Godoy, to take control of the game. Godoy led a 9-play drive that set up a 26-yard field goal by Mason Paine, which gave the Tigers a 17-7 lead one minute into the fourth quarter.
"He played a really great game," Marrujo said of his junior signal caller. "I thought Tommy Torres also played really well for us. We controlled the line of scrimmage and dictated the game in the second half." Torres ran for three touchdowns and 136 yards on the night, and Godoy was a perfect 10 for 10 in the second half, finishing with 161 yards through the air.