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Valencia High School
Valencia High School

Sandoval thrives in bigger role, powers Valencia past Troy 30-13

PLACENTIA – Nathan Sandoval rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns for Valencia in a 30-13 nonleague win over Troy on Thursday at Valencia High. Valencia concluded nonleague play with a 2-3 record. Troy is 0-4.

Sandoval, a 5-foot-6, 160-pound junior, was sharing the carries with senior back Nathan Perez through the Tigers’ first four games. Perez was unable to play Thursday because of an ankle injury.

Sandoval carried 18 times. He scored on runs of 30 and 23 yards, and got plenty of support from the Tigers’ offensive line of Kyle Crane, Ethan DePriest, Adrian Diaz, Brandon Gonzalez and Robert Moreno. Sandoval this season has rushed for 393 yards and three touchdowns.

Valencia junior receiver Dane Watkins had touchdown receptions of 13 and 25 yards on passes from senior quarterback Zachary Charles.

Troy junior receiver Chris Rahlwes scored the Warriors’ two touchdowns on receptions of 45 and 75 yards. Rahlwes finished with 10 catches for 115 yards. He went into the game with 13 receptions for 174 yards. Rahlwes’ first touchdown reception came on Troy’s game-opening possession to put the Warriors on top, 7-0. Sandoval’s 30-yard scoring run on the Tigers’ first possession tied it.

Valencia took a 9-7 advantage when Chase Chocek tackled Troy’s punter in the end zone for a safety. The Tigers added Watkins’ 13-yard touchdown catch for a 16-7 lead near the end of the first quarter. Sandoval’s 23-yard touchdown run increased the lead to 23-7.

After a scoreless third quarter, a 25-yard touchdown pass from Charles to Watkins made it 30-7. Rahlwes’ 78-yard touchdown concluded the scoring.

After a bye next week, Valencia plays its Empire League opener Oct. 5 with a home game against Cypress. The Tigers were a league co-champion last season with Tustin.

Troy, which took its bye last week, plays a nonleague home game Sept. 9 against Don Lugo of Chino. The Warriors play their Freeway League opener Oct. 6 against Buena Park at Fullerton High. Troy last season finished third in the league with a 3-2 league record.

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