By TOM CONNOLLY
CONTRIBUTING WRITER OC Register
PLACENTIA * High-powered Valencia delighted its homecoming crowd as the Tigers cruised to 62-8 Empire League victory over Western on Friday night at Valencia High. Darren Sandoval scored two of his three touchdowns in the first quarter as the Tigers scored four times in the first nine minutes of the game. Ronnie Velasquez intercepted a pass on the third play of the game to get the Tigers rolling. Two plays later, Sandoval scored on a 4-yard run to give Valencia 7-0 lead.
Jacob Briggs stepped in front of a Western pass on the Pioneers’ second series and returned it 18 yards for a score. Tyler Switzer completed an 8-yard scoring pass to Mason Paine to extend the lead to 20-0, then Sandoval raced 46 yards for a score as the Tigers surged to a 27-0 lead after the first quarter. Valencia (7-0, 2-0) won its seventh consecutive game and is averaging more than 39 points. The Tigers defense has held opponents to fewer than seven points per game.
Tofi Meleah, Nick Perreira and Justin McHale led a dominant Valencia defense that forced three first-half turnovers and held the Pioneers to negative yardage in the first half. The Tigers kept pushing in the second quarter as Sandoval scored his third touchdown on an 8-yard run. Switzer completed all eight of his passes in the first half, including a second TD pass to Paine. Jahquon Speed (114 yards rushing) capped Valencia’s first-half blitz with a 2-yard TD run that gave the Tigers a 48-0 halftime lead over the Pioneers (1-6, 0-2).