STAFF WRITER OC REGISTER
FULLERTON ♦ Young Troy fans flooded Fullerton High’s football field following their school’s “Romecoming” game, and began mimicking senior Zach Johnson.
Johnson isn’t Troy’s quarterback. He isn’t a receiver, running back or linebacker, either.He is Troy’s kicker, and thanks in part to his right leg, the Warriors escaped Friday with a 31-28 nonleague victory over Valencia.
A 23-yard field goal off Johnson’s foot capped Troy’s winning drive, and Johnson said afterward that he’s spent hours practicing that same routine in front of his bedroom mirror.“For most kickers, a field goal like that should be a chip shot,” he said. “I wanted to make sure that happened. It was a great moment. I’ve been kicking since my freshman year, and have taken some flak for some missed kicks, but this is the ultimate high.”
Troy running back Nick Magee carried the ball 21 times for 68 yards, and quarterback Thomas Becerra scored two touchdowns as Troy (4-1) compensated for the early loss of star running back Dray Shaw.“Nick Magee played out of his head tonight,” Warriors coach Kevin Hastin said. “ ... It feels good to beat a good football team that’s well coached. I have all the respect in the world for Coach (Mike) Marrujo.” Troy receiver Dominic Vaccher finished with 137 receiving yards, and when Valencia began doublecovering him in the second half, his teammates made plays.
Receiver Spencer Hayes, in particular, had a crucial 12-yard reception on Troy’s winning drive. “I’ve learned a lot about our character this week,” Hastin said.
Four plays after extending Troy’s second possession of the game with a fake punt near midfield, Vaccher scored on a 20-yard reception. Early in the second quarter, Magee capped Troy’s third drive with a short TD run. Valencia (3-1) momentarily pulled within a touchdown on Jake Watkins’ 43-yard TD catch, but Magee returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for six points.
Valencia running back Will Van Dam and Becerra exchanged touchdown runs late in the quarter, and Troy led, 28-14, at halftime. Valencia, the Southwest Division’s third-ranked team, played without QB Tyler Switzer (leg).
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