By TOM CONNOLLY
FOR THE REGISTER
PLACENTIA > Before Friday night´s Empire League game against Western, Valencia coach Mike Marrujo said his team had played good halves in games this season but had not played a complete game, yet.
The Tigers might have changed Marrujo´s perception as Valencia cruised to a convincing 34-7 victory over the Pioneers at Valencia High.
"I´ll take it; we made big plays, and our defense was solid like they´ve been all year," said Marrujo, who earned his 260th career win.
Patrick Godoy rushed for 107 yards and scored a career-high four touchdowns to complement the dominating Valencia defensive effort.
The Tigers (5-1, 2-0) have won four consecutive games and moved into first place as a result of Kennedy´s loss. Yorba Linda, idle this week, is one-half game back. Valencia has outscored its opponents, 79-14, the past three games.
Trent Salcedo jumpstarted the Tigers´ attack with a 40-yard punt return to the Pioneers´ 4-yard line midway through the first quarter. One play later, Godoy scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to give Valencia a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter Will Van Dam darted 63 yards for a touchdown, and Godoy raced in from 21 yards to score as Valencia built a 21-0-halftime lead. Godoy added touchdown runs of 4 and 20 yards in the second half. The Tigers defense led by Mike Vega and Cody Gores stifled Western´s offense as it limited the Pioneers (2-3, 0-2) to three first downs and 40 yards in the first half. "The key was that we watched the outside and we stayed contained throughout the game," Gores said.
Frankie Jorquez and Alex Ojelabi, the two leading rushers in the league, were held to a combined 40 rushing yards.