BY BRIAN REED-BAIOTTO
CONTRIBUTING WRITER OC REGISTER
PLACENTIA ♦ The writing was on the wall early in Valencia’s 45-14 victory over visiting Northwood.
Before the Tigers (10-1) ran three offensive plays, they led 21-0. From there, Northwood never mustered much of a challenge in Friday night’s one-sided CIFSS Southwestern Division playoff opener.
Valencia held the Timberwolves (7-4) on the game’s opening possession, and on its first play from scrimmage, Patrick Godoy hit Jake Watkins on a 58-yard touchdown pass. The Tigers got the ball back less than three minutes later, and Godoy promptly scored on an 82-yard sprint. Then Nick Coghill intercepted Northwood quarterback Brian Abel and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead just 5:38 into the game.
Valencia rushed for more than 400 yards, including a game-best 143 yards on just six carries for Darren Sandoval. He scored on a 75-yard run as the third quarter came to an end, which meant the fourth quarter would be played with a running clock.
Valencia will travel to Capistrano Valley next Friday for a quarterfinal game. “We came in wanting to run the ball well, and we did a good job of that,” Valencia coach Mike Marrajo said. “We’ve done a good job of being balanced offensively and our defense was solid as usual.”
Abel led Northwood with 105 yards rushing, and completed 12 of 28 passes for 143 yards. Abel scored on 66-yard run and connected with Andy Clyde on a 32-yard touchdown pass. Godoy finished with 119 yards rushing and 72 passing for Valencia, and Jahquon Speed gained 70 yards on 10 carries. Watkins had four catches for 74 yards and the score.