DAVID DELGADO, Contributing writer OCRegister
GARDEN GROVE ● Good things come to those who wait.It took six weeks but Valencia finally got in the win column with a 28-14 triumph over Pacifica on Friday night in an Empire League game at Garden Grove High.
The Tigers (1-6, 1-0) were led by Jahquon Speed, who rushed for 182 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries. The Valencia defense also came up big, forcing five turnovers, including three interceptions.
First-year coach Shawn Racobs earned his first victory after succeeding Mike Marrujo. The Mariners (3-3, 0-1) got off to a sloppy start as they fumbled on their first possession. Valencia’s Jose Soria recovered and the Tigers took over in Pacifica territory.
Speed made the Mariners pay for that turnover with a 10-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead. At the end of the first quarter, the Pacifica offense started to get back on track as it went on an eight-play drive and tied the score early in the second quarter when Ben Jefferson hit Nate Deaton on a fourth-and-goal pass in the back of the end zone.
But it took just one play for Valencia to regain the lead as Speed took a handoff and raced up the field for a 68-yard TD run. The Tigers defense was able to corral the prolific rushing duo of Raul Balderas
and Jeffers, holding them to a combined 79 yards.