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Valencia High School
Valencia High School

TUSTIN FALLS TO VALENCIA 24-13

By DAN ALBANO OCRegister

Valencia High’s stability again started with Coach Mike Marrujo on Friday and flowed like a bolt of energy through his team. The Tigers’ offense played with the balance. The defense played with it. And at just the right moment, Marrujo injected the extra aggressiveness to push his players even further.

Quarterback Tyler Switzer threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and Valencia’s defense fashioned a shutout in the second half to power the Tigers to a 24-13 victory at Tustin, clinching at least a share of a second consecutive Empire League crown. The Tigers remained perfectly balanced by their standards: 9-0, 4-0. “I think it’s special,” said Switzer, who has 25 TD passes. “I really feel we have a bond. We’re getting better each and every week. Hope to make it far in the playoffs.”

Valencia and its 35th-season coach certainly have the makings of a contender in the Southwest Division after handing Tustin (7-2, 3-1) its first league loss. Tustin is also headed to the CIF playoffs. Marrujo sparked Valencia with an aggressive play call on the game’s opening series. The Tigers capped a 14-play, 65-yard scoring drive with a 4-yard touchdown plunge by Switzer on fourth-and-goal. The Tigers never looked back.

One of Switzer’s own calls paid off in the fourth. He called an audible for a streak route and tossed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Chachmoni Ben-Yisrael as the Tigers opened a 24-13 lead with 10:01 left.

Tustin stayed close thanks to a 41-yard touchdown reception by Jonathan Di Maio on a pass from Sagel Simon and two field goals by Anthony Garduno. including a 38-yarder with one second left in the first half that cut Valencia’s lead to 17-13.

 

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