The Golden Hawks take control at the end to win, 28-15.
September 25, 2009 11:15 PM
By LOU PONSI
PLACENTIA - Even with his team leading by three touchdowns at halftime, El
Dorado first-year coach Shawn Racobs didn't expect his Golden Hawks to breeze to
an easy victory over city rival Valencia. Racobs was correct.
Valencia was within a touchdown late in the third quarter, but the Golden Hawks
took control for a 28-15 victory. "I don't think any victory is easy, especially
when you are going against Coach (Mike) Marrujo," said Racobs, who was an
assistant under Marrujo for the past eight years and played for the coach in
The Golden Hawks (2-1) reclaimed the victory bell, the trophy the schools have
played for the past 10 years. Valencia (1-2) had possession of it after a 17-16
victory in 2008, but the Golden Hawks have won three of the past four meetings.
The overall series is tied at 19 victories each. "It is a great victory for the
kids," Racobs said. "They worked hard all week. I know how important it is to
El Dorado's Brock Dunn led all rushers with 140 yards and two touchdowns on 31
carries. Dunn's 14 yard touchdown capped an 80 yard drive that gave the Hawks
the lead after the game's first drive. Andreas Ambuehl connected with Robert
Ellison for El Dorado's second score, and Dunn's next touchdown, this one for 15
yards, put the Hawks ahead, 21-0, at the half. It looked as if El Dorado's
dominance would continue into the third quarter after the Tigers wasted a long
drive by fumbling on the Hawks' 18-yard line.
But the Tigers defense kept El Dorado pinned back, and when the Hawks fumbled on
a fourth-down punt try, Valencia's Omar Perez recovered in the end zone for a
touchdown. El Dorado was held to a three-and-out on its next possession, and
Valencia followed with 61-yard scoring drive capped by a 2-yard run from Matt
A two-point conversion got the Tigers to within 21-15 with 44 seconds left in
the third. El Dorado then took over and held the ball for more than eight
minutes before missing a 45 yard field goal try. Valencia took over on its own
20 with 3:55 remaining, but an interception and 30 yard return by Ellison pretty
much put the game away. A 2 yard scoring run from Ambuehl with 2:16 left sealed
the victory. "Any time you play in a rival game like this, you are going to have
big plays on both sides," Racobs said.
By LOU PONSI
PLACENTIA - After a disappointing loss in the season´s first game, Valencia
coach Mike Marrujo did some shifting of personnel heading into the Tigers´ Week
2 contest vs. Western. The adjustments made all the difference as Valencia came
away with a 16-6 non league victory over the Pioneers Friday at Valencia High
The difference was a solidified offensive line, which opened some nice holes for
running back Omar Perez. Perez carried 29 times for 160 yards and two touchdowns
to lead the Tigers (1-1) to their first victory of the season.
The Tigers rushed for 215 yards as a team. "We played a lot better that last
week, "said Marrujo, refering to the Tigers' 22-7 los to Villa Park, a contest
in which held to 1 yard rushing and 52 total yards.
Valencaia was just as stellar on defense, shutting down the Pioneers offense
when it mattered most. After Perez's second touchdown put Valencia up by 10 with
just under two minutes left in the third quarter, Western (0-2) didn't manage a
drive lasting longer than four plays. The Pioneers started their first drive of
the forth quarter on the Valencia 47, but turned it over on downs after losing 1
Western's next drive lasted one play, thank to an interception by Karsen Garcia
that out the game away for the Tigers with 2:27 left. Western running back Ruben
Ortega gained 75 yards on seven carries.
By BRIAN SMITH
SPECIAL TO OCVARSITY.COM
ORANGE - After a first half that saw Villa Park lose three turnovers, the
Spartans turned things around in the second half against Valencia, using a pair
of third quarter touchdowns and a solid defensive effort to post a 22-7 victory
over the Tigers at Fred Kelly Stadium.
A Mike Stankan interception on the second play of the half gave the Spartans the
ball at the Tiger 38. Six plays later, David Tafuna scored from the one to break
a 7-all tie at the half.
After a Valencia punt, the Spartans marched 54 yards in seven plays. Spencer
Stephens hauled in an Andrew Selway 23-yard pass for the second touchdown hookup
of the night.
The Villa Park defense did the rest, allowing one first down (on a penalty) the
entire second half. For the gake, Villa Park allowed five first downs and 52
By MARTIN HENDERSON
Special to OCVarsity
PLACENTIA - Trabuco Hills, runner-up a year ago in the CIF-SS Southwest
Division, knew that the first playoff game is sometimes a big hurdle. The
Mustangs were breathing a lot easier having gotten over that hurdle Saturday
night by posting a 35-21 victory over Valencia.
Trabuco Hills (7-4) will play host to third-seeded Western next weekend.
Valencia finished 8-3. "We don´t have a whole lot of returners back from last
season," Trabuco Hills coach Jason Negro said. "I was nervous about how our kids
would respond, how J.J. Mayer would respond."
Mayer, the first-year starting quarterback, responded fine. He completed 7 of 10
passes for 156 yards, with two second-half interceptions. Most impressive, he
was 5 of 6 for 130 yards in the first half, including a 46-yard touchdown pass
to Chris Simonton for a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Simonton had given Trabuco Hills the early lead with a 2-yard run. Shane DeCillo
made his mark as well. He rushed 28 times for 120 yards and touchdowns of 1 and
3 yards. The first was perhaps the most important. Just 2 minutes, 14 seconds
after Valencia QB David Pina scored from 11 yards, DeCillo capped a seven-play,
Less than two minutes later, with 1 minute left on the first-half clock, Donnie
Simonsen´s 38-yard interception return made it an insurmountable 28-7.
By TOM CONNOLLY
Special to OCVarsity.com
ANAHEIM - Issac Dominguez rushed for 170 yards and scored three touchdowns to
lead Valencia to a 42-17 Empire League victory over Loara on Friday at Glover
Stadium. The Tigers (8-2, 4-1) amassed nearly 300 yards rushing and 22 first
downs, and the victory earns them a second-place finish in league and a playoff
berth. The Saxons, after winning five of their first six games, dropped their
last four and finished 5-5 and 1-4.
"I couldn't ask for a better offensive line than I have," said Dominguez, who
also caught a pass and recorded two sacks. "Josh Gamboa, Nick Martinez, Keifer
Neal, Junior Gauta, Travis Gipson and Shane Reekstin make us successful because
they never take a play off."
Leading 14-10 at halftime, the Tigers notched two TDs in the third quarter to
build a 28-10 lead. Valencia recovered an onside kick to start the second half
and quickly drove 49 yards in eight plays. Dominguez capped the scoring drive
with a 1-yard TD run. In the final minute of the quarter, the Tigers struck
again. Karsen Garcia got behind the Saxons secondary and caught a 53-yard
touchdown pass from Dave Pina. Dominguez and Matt Gonzalez added fourth- quarter
touchdown runs to seal the victory.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers drove 80 yards in 14 plays to take a
7-0 lead. Pina scored on a 1-yard run to give Valencia the lead. After a 43-yard
field goal by Loara kicker Jonathan Negrete, Dominguez capped another 880-yard
scoring drive with a short TD run giving the Tigers a 14-3 lead. The Saxons
battled back and drove the length of the field in the final two minutes of the
quarter and scored to trim the Valencia lead to 14-10 at halftime. Jesse Ben-Ron
hauled in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Meraz with nine seconds left in
Anthony Bautista rushed for 93 yards and a TD, and Howard Gauta caught five
passes for the Saxons. "Some folks didn't pick us to make the playoffs this
season but here we are," Valencia coach Mike Marrujo said.
DINE WITH THE TIGERS!!
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Have a great meal and support your team!!!
By CHRIS TOBOLSKI
PLACENTIA - Valencia clinched a playoff spot with its 31-12 victory over Kennedy
in Empire League play Thursday night at Valencia High. "This was a team
victory," Tigers quarterback Dave Pina said. Pina rushed for 71 yards, but he
made his biggest impact at cornerback. He had two interceptions. The second
prevented a touchdown in the end zone. "
It kept Valencia (7-2, 3-1) ahead, 14-0, late in the second quarter. The Tigers
took that lead on a 5-yard keeper by Pina and a 6-yard run by Isaac Dominguez.
Kennedy (4-5, 1-3) responded with a drive to the Tigers 16 after Dominguez´s
score, but Pina´s pick ended the Fighting Irish´s chance.
Valencia took over at its 20 and scored on Jesse Sandoval´s 37-yard field goal
to lead, 17-0, at halftime. Dominguez scored on runs of 19 and 1 yard in the
second half to push the Tigers advantage to 31-0. He finished with 14 carries
for 99 yards and three touchdowns. Teammate Ruben Escarsega was just as
punishing without scoring, ending with a game-high 19 carries for 133 yards.
Kennedy avoided the shutout late on Kyle White´s 1-yard run. The Irish recovered
the kickoff and quarterback Andy Peterson scored on a 7-yard scramble to make it
31-12 with 3:48 to play.
By LOU PONSI
ANAHEIM - The Valencia football team didn´t need to do anything fancy in a 45-0
Empire League victory over Katella on Thursday at Glover Stadium.
Valencia´s Isaac Dominguez led all backs with 140 yards and three touchdowns on
12 carries as the Tigers were most productive when keeping the ball on the
ground. The Tigers (6-2, 2-1), ranked No 7 in the Southwest Division and No. 24
in the OCVarsity.com poll, have games remaining against Kennedy and Loara, both
"We were just going into this game like we have a three-game season," Valencia
coach Mike Marrujo said. "Our league is real balanced ... it´s a battle every
week." Valencia intercepted Katella quarterback Matt Judd four times, and aside
from a 45-yard run by Nikio Bush in the fourth quarter, held the Knights (1-7,
0-2) to 7 yards of total offense in the second half.
The Tigers Karsen Garcia turned in a solid all-purpose performance, catching a
47-yard touchdown pass, grabbing two interceptions and setting up the first
score with a 48-yard return on the game´s opening kickoff. Bush led the Knights
with 98 yards on 20 carries.
By STEVE FRYER
ANAHEIM - Cypress might not be as large or as offensively explosive as it was
last year when the Centurions won a CIF championship. But they still are finding
ways to win. The Centurions used a quick defense and made enough big plays on
offense to beat Valencia, 15-10, Thursday in an Empire League game at Western
The victory gave Cypress sole possession of first place in the Empire. Cypress
is 2-0 in league. Grouped together at 1-1 are Loara, Kennedy and Valencia.
Katella and Pacifica, both 0-1 in league, play tonight at Bolsa Grande High.
Cypress is 4-3 overall. Valencia is 5-2.
A fumble recovery led to Cypress´ first touchdown and the Centurions got two of
their five sacks in the final minute of the game. On Valencia´s last-chance play
on fourth-and-10 at the Cypress 45-yard line, Valencia receiver Karsen Garcia
took a short pass but was tackled quickly by Cypress cornerback Ryan Milosek 5
yards shy of a first down. "Our defense came through," Cypress coach Ray Fenton
said. "They´ve been doing a very good job the last three weeks."
The offense did enough to support that defense. After Cypress linebacker Marcus
Maldonado recovered a Valencia fumble at the Tigers´ 14-yard line, Centurions
quarterback Max Reza passed to Archie Bernard on a tackle-eligible play for 13
yards and a touchdown in the second quarter. The kick for the extra point
missed, leaving Cypress with a 6-0 lead. In the final minute of the half, a A
34-yard completion from Reza to Tyler Donahue set up a 37-yard field goal by
Shawn Hansen on the half´s final play to make it 9-0.
Valencia´s Jesse Sandoval kicked a 35-yard field goal to trim Cypress´ lead to
9-3. A muffed punt return was recovered by the Tigers´ Garrison Kean at the
Centurions´ 20 to set up the field goal. The Tigers took the lead with 9:32 to
go in the fourth quarter when quarterback David Pina connected with Aaron Brewer
on a 25-yard touchdown pass play. Sandoval´s kick for the extra point put
Valencia ahead, 10-9.
Cypress´ winning drive started with 6:05 to go. Reza completions of 28, 4 and 19
yards led the Centurions downfield until Reza scored on a 9-yard run with 2:02
left. Cypress went for two, but Reza´s pass was knocked down, leaving the score
15-10. Valencia´s final drive started at its 20 with 1:56 to go. A fourth-down
screen pass from Pina to Isaac Dominguez was good for 15 yards and a first down,
and a facemask penalty on a sack, a fourth-down play, kept the Tigers alive
until Milosek´s tackle ended it. "We´re not a big team, by any means," Fenton
said. "But we´re doing a good job with what we have." Cypress has beaten
Valencia three times in a row.
They did not play during the regular season last year, because of widespread
fires and the resulting poor air quality that canceled or postponed many games.
But they met in the CIF-Southern Section Southern Division semifinals, in which
Cypress took a 28-21 victory, before going on to defeat another league rival,
Pacifica, in the division final. Cypress beat Valencia in a league game in 2006,
10-6. Cypress plays Loara in a league game next Friday at Glover Stadium.
Valencia, which also lost to Western, plays Katella on Thursday at Glover
By NICK TAYLOR
Special to OCVarsity.com
PLACENTIA - In a bout that resembled two heavyweights slugging it out, Valencia
delivered the final blow.
The host Tigers stopped Pacifica on fourth down from the 5 with 3:17 remaining,
lifting Valencia to a 36-22 victory Saturday in an Empire League opener.
"It went back and forth," Valencia coach Mike Marrujo said. "I´m proud of the
way we hung in there in the second half."
Valencia (5-1, 1-0), No. 2 in the CIF-SS Southwest Division, needed Ruben
Escarsega´s three touchdown runs and Karsen Garcia´s 53-yard TD catch and
94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to hold off Pacifica (2-4, 0-1). The
Mariners rallied behind Josh Brannon´s 242 yards rushing.
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