By Chris Monahan
The Orange County Register
ANAHEIM - Eli Tekurio appears at the bottom of the Kennedy numerical roster, but
his Thursday number put him near the top of the Fighting Irish performers.
Tekurio caught a second-quarter touchdown pass, recovered a fumble and had one
of the three Kennedy interceptions as the Irish (6-3,3-1) downed Valencia
(6-2-1,3-1), 20-0 at Western High.
Coupled with Pacifica's victory, the Empire League finishes with a three-way
tie for the top spot that will be resolved by coin flip today." That's was our
first goal, to win the league title," Tekurio said. Our next is win CIF again."
Valencia was playing without two top offensive performers because of
disciplinary reason's: Wes Fletcher and quarterback Marcus Beckman. The Tigers
finished with only 226 yards of total offense. Kennedy totaled just 285 but took
advantage of four Valencia turnovers, scoring 17 points after takeaways.
By LAURENS ONG
Special to OCVarsity.com
PLACENTIA - Carrying much of the load in place of teammate Wes Fletcher, senior
running back Mike Alvarez scored four touchdowns in the second half as Valencia
defeated Katella, 39-14, in an Empire League football game Friday night at
Alvarez rushed for 144 yards on 18 carries for the Tigers (6-1, 3-0), including
touchdown runs of 7, 5, 34 and 19 yards.
After scoring on a 16-yard run for Valencia in the first quarter, Fletcher´s
night came to an abrupt end when he was ejected from the game with 6:36 left in
the second quarter. After a Fletcher run, both teams got into an altercation,
and there were multiple penalties called on both teams. Fletcher was ejected
apparently for hitting another player in the head. Katella fell to 2-6 and 0-3.
By DAN ALBANO
The Orange County Register
GARDEN GROVE Pacifica entered its Empire League
game against Valencia on Thursday having posted consecutive, one-point
victories. And going back to their season opener, the Mariners had three
one-point victories overall. But against the Tigers, that trend finally ended as
Valencia rallied from an early two-touchdown deficit to post a 21-20 victory at
Bolsa Grande High. The difference proved to be an extra point Valencia blocked
1:05 into the fourth quarter.
Valencia´s defense held for the last time as Robby Gomezsacked Pacifica
quarterback Raymond Huizarfor a 10-yard loss to the Mariners´ 41 on a
third-and-7. Pacifica (5-2, 1-1) used its final timeout with 3:36 left and
punted the ball. Valencia (5-1-1, 2-0) then ran out the final 3:27 thanks to
five consecutive runs by Wes Fletcher, who finished with 184 yards rushing and
two touchdowns. "We just hung in there and came back and made some plays,"
Valencia coach Mike Marrujo said.
Valencia marched on its opening possession of the second half. After an illegal
substitution penalty against Pacifica on fourth down kept the drive alive, the
Tigers drove 83 yards for a score. Fletcher capped the drive by turning the
corner for a 13-yard touchdown run on a third-and-1 with 7:12 left. Valencia
limited Pacifica to only three plays in the third quarter but the Mariners
struck on their second play of the fourth as Tyler Ortiztook a crossing pass
from Huizar and turned it up field en route to a 70-yard touchdown reception
with 10:55 left. The critical missed extra point came next. Valencia scored
twice in the final 3:21 of the first half to tie the score, 14-14.
By Chris Tobolski
The Orange County Register
PLACENTIA - Questions remained about the
health of Valencia running back Wes Fletcher´s left ankle before Saturday
night´s game against Loara. The senior wasn´t on the field for the team´s first
series, but soon made his presence felt. Showing no signs of the ankle slowing
him, Fletcher rushed for four touchdowns and finished with 168 yards in
Valencia´s victory over Loara, 29-14, in the start of Empire League play at
rain-soaked Valencia High.
"I didn´t know if I would be back today," Fletcher said. "The first play is
always the worst. The ankle felt well." Fletcher scored from 2 yards out just
after halftime to give Valencia a 15-14 lead. After forcing the Saxsons to punt,
Valencia (4-2, 1-0) again turned to Fletcher. His 3-yard touchdown extended the
margin to 22-14. Loara (1-5, 1-0) opened the fourth quarter by driving inside
Valencia´s 10. But a fumble ended the drive at the 9.
Anthony Bautista´s 2-yard rushing touchdown had given the Saxons an early 7-0
lead. Valencia fought back to take a 9-7 advantage. However, Marcus Meraz
connected with Patrick Boyle on an 8-yard pass and Loara took a 14-9 lead into
The game was delayed for 20 minutes four plays in when Valencia´s Kelii Jackson
was taken off the field on a stretcher by paramedics. Jackson could be seen
moving his arms and legs as he was wheeled off. He returned to the sideline in
the forth quarter, still in uniform, but he didn´t play anther down. He returned
to the sideline in the fourth quarter, still in uniform, but he didn´t play
another down. "That´s my good friend," Fletcher said. "I´m glad he´s back. This
game was dedicated to him."
Friday night and Saturday´s rain made playing conditions sloppy. The field was
muddy, as were as the sidelines. Each team lost a fumble.
By Curtis Zupke
The Orange County Register
MISSION VIEJO - Eric Cox ran for three and Rikee
Collins rushed for 167 yards as Valencia defeated Capistrano Valley High. Marcus
Beckman threw two touch downs as the Tigers improved to 3-1-1 They played
without starting running back Wes Fletcher, who sat out the game because of a
twisted ankle suffered last week.
"I thought the whole team stepped up and played really
well" Valencia coach Mike Marrujo said. "The best game we´ve played so far this
year." Collins ran for 126 yards in the second half. His 38-yarder on Valencia´s
opening drive of the second half helped set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Cox to
give Valencia a 21-3 lead.
The Cougars (3-1) came back with a 50-yard touchdown pass
from Parker Finley to Austin Messick, but their next two possessions ended in an
incomplete pass and an interception of a tipped ball by defensive lineman Zach
Johnson. Collins broke off a 27-yard run and Beckmen completed a 27-yard pass to
Julius Macharia on third-and 9 to set up Cox´s 2-yard touchdown run in the forth
Fletcher, Empire League offensive player of the year, is
week-to-week, Marrujo said. Valencia has a bye next week.
El Dorado retains the `Championship Bell´ with a 36-14
victory over rival Valencia
By Damian Calhoun
The Orange County Register
Placentia - The bell is
ringing, and it is music to the ears of El Dorado football program. For the
second consecutive season, the Golden Hawks (3-1) got the best of their city
rival, Valencia (2-1-1), this time with a 36-14 victory Friday at Valencia High.
The Golden Hawks retained the
`Championship Bell´ with the victory in front of an estimated crowd of 6,000.
"When you win your city championship, it always feels good," El Dorado coach
Jeff Bailey said. "This is a nice rivalry; there is respect on both sides.
...They´re a great ball club, but we got the better of them tonight." The game
was tightly contested throughout the first half, but the Golden Hawks started to
stake their claim to the bell in the third quarter.
On the first play from
scrimmage in the second half, El Dorado quarterback Kane Wilson faked an inside
hand-off and eventually raced 73 yards for a touchdown and a 19-0 lead. "It is
like an option play," Wilson said. "I read the (defensive) end, and he bit down
and the guys didn´t see me keep the ball and I just sprinted all the way."
Wilson complete 10 or 20 passes for 254 yards. Devi n Deleon scored four
touchdowns for the Golden Hawks.
On the other side of the ball,
Valencia´s offense had to regroup on the fly. Senior running back Wes Fletcher
opened the game with consecutive rushes, one for 18 yards. On his fourth carry,
however, he came up limping with a left-ankle injury. After the possession,
Fletcher got his ankle retaped on the sideline, but he was never able to get
back into the flow of the game. He finished with 38 yards rushing.
"Our defense really took it to
them," El Dorado defensive end Anthony Laurenzi said. "We stumbled a little
bit, but we came through and got the victory." Laurenzi led the defensive charge
with three sacks and was one of the first players to ring the bell. "It feels
good," Laurenzi said. "It feels nice ringing it again."
By Mark Garcia
Special to the Register
PLACENTIA - Valencia scored 14 consecutive points to record
a 21-21 tie with former Orange League rival Western on Friday at Valencia High.
Western (1-0-1) had a chance to win in the final seconds as
the Pioneers marched 58 yards to the Valencia 19-yard line, but a 29 yard field
goal attempt by Pete Foochong sailed wide to the right with two seconds left in
The Tigers (1-0-1) had an opportunity to score just minutes
earlier but failed to convert a fourth-and-9 play with 1:44 left in the game at
the Western 24-yard line. Valencia tied the score with 6:54 remaining in the fourth
quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Wes Fletcher, followed by a two-point
conversion run by quarterback Marcus Beckman. Fletcher sparked the Tigers with 192 rushing yards and two
touchdowns. Ruben Ortega lead Western´s with 131 yards and one touchdown.
Q1: Valencia : Wes Fletcher 1 yards TD - run (Julius Macharia kick)
Western : Ruben Ortega 1 yards TD - run (Pete Foo Chong kick)
Western : Mookie Cooksie 5 yards TD - run (Pete Foo Chong kick
Q3: Western : Derek Orman 1 yards TD - run (Johnny Trujillo run)
Valencia : Trenton Tate 10 yards TD - pass from Marcus Beckman
(Julius Macharia kick blocked)
Q4: Valencia : Wes Fletcher 1 yards TD - run (Marcus Beckman run)
By LOU PONSI
A clutch play by the defense keyed Valencia's 19-3 non-league victory over Villa
Park on Thursday at El Modena High School. The Tigers (2-0) hadn't done much
offensively in the first quarter and trailed, 3-0, in the second quarter when
Villa Park (0-1) faced a third-and-4 on their own 19.
Valencia's Mike Alvarez
charged quarterback Tyler Watkins and then leaped high to deflect his pass into
the arms of defensive tackle Zack Johnson, who ran the ball 9 yards for a
"We'll sure take that," said Valencia coach Mike Marrujo of the defensive
touchdown. "Defensively, I thought we played well." The score seemed to inspire
the Tigers, who dominated the contest the rest of the way.Valencia quarterback
Marcus Beckman's 1-yard touchdown run capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive that gave
the Tigers a 12-3 lead.
Beckman also complted a 33-yard pass to Kelli Jackson, which set up another
score. Running back Wes Fletcher scored the Tigers final touchdown on a 1-yard
run with 5:53 remaining. Fletcher, considered one of the county's top backs,
finished with 137 yards on 28 carries, 25 coming in the second half. "We just
kept feeding him the ball," Marrujo said. Anthony Privitelli led the Spartans
with 68 yards on 19 carries.
By STEVE FRYER
Photo by Rose Palmisano
The Orange County Register www.OCVarsity.com
Wes Fletcher, Valencia´s star senior running back who came into the year with
more than 4,000 yards rushing, said he was nervous before the game. Valencia´s
opponent in the first high school game in Orange County in this 2007 season did
not do much to calm him down. Brea Olinda stayed with Valencia until the final
moments, as Valencia beat Brea, 32-29, in a wild season opener for both Thursday
at Valencia High.
Brea, a 4-6 team last season that has been picked by Century League coaches to
finish last in that league this season, had a 29-24 lead in the fourth quarter
until Fletcher broke off a 39-yard touchdown run with 2:49 remaining. A
two-point pass from Marcus Beckman to Julius Macharia gave the Tigers (7-5 in
´06) a 32-29 advantage.
On the Wildcats´ first play on their ensuing possession, Valencia´s Cody Reigel
caused a fumble that was recovered by the Tigers´ Mike Alvarez with 2:33 to go.
Valencia then gave the ball to Fletcher for four plays in a row to get a first
down, Tigers lineman Travis Gipson recovered a botched snap and then Fletcher
carried once more as time expired. Fletcher finished with 195 yards and two
rushing touchdowns on 27 carries. He had only 33 yards on 10 attempts in the
first half, before getting going in the second to produce 162 on 17 in the
second. "I was not all there," Fletcher explained. "Then we started opening
things up in the second half after we made some adjustments."
Those adjustments affected Valencia´s blocking scheme. Brea was moving
linebackers in and out of gaps to confuse Valencia´s linemen and contain
Fletcher. Fletcher scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter to put the Tigers
ahead, 7-0. Brea shut out Valencia in the second quarter, and took a 10-7 lead
into halftime after senior quarterback Kyle Essington scored on an 8-yard run
and Michael Frisina kicked a 24-yard field goal.
The kickoff to start the second half was returned 99 yards for a touchdown by
Valencia´s Kelli Jackson, who did not play much after that because of a leg
cramp. His points gave the Tigers a 14-10 lead that did not last long. Essington
connected with wide receiver Dakota Hopkins for a 40-yard touchdown pass on
which Hopkins made a diving over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone to put the
Wildcats on top, 17-14.
Macharia kicked a 34-yard field goal to bring Valencia back, 17-17. After an
interception by Valencia´s Joe Stikeleather, Macharia made a fine catch on a
26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Marcus Beckman to give Valencia a 24-17
lead. Brea´s Kory Johnson scored on a 74-yard run, but a mishandled snap kept
the Wildcats from adding an extra point, so Valencia had a 24-23 lead. Brea´s
Jake Willison´s 9-yard touchdown run put the Wildcats ahead again, but a pass
for two points was incomplete, leaving them with a 29-24 edge. Essington
finished 10 for 17 for 186 yards, with the one touchdown pass and the
interception, and ran for a touchdown. Hopkins had 113 receiving yards on five
catches. Macharia had his touchdown reception, scored on a two-point conversion
and kicked a field goal and two extra points to give him 13 points.
The Brea-Valencia game was the only high school football game played in the
county Thursday night. San Clemente played in the only other game involving a
county team, late in Hawaii. Tonight´s schedule features 18 games as more teams
are playing in this Week 0. Most teams still kick off their seasons in Week 1,
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
By ADAM MAYA
Top 10 running backs who will be back for next season.
1. Derrick Coleman, Troy- 2006: 2,340 yards, 38 touchdowns; 2007: He will
be motivated by more carries (Chris Ramirez graduated) and a scholarship offer
to a big school (he´s uncommitted). 2. Wes Fletcher, Valencia- 2006:
2,005 yards, 23 touchdowns; 2007: He is also playing for a big scholarship offer
but needs to lead Valencia to a better record (7-5 last year). 3. Ricky
Pemasa, Orange Lutheran- 2006: 747 yards, 14 touchdowns; 2007: He will split
carries but shoulder more responsibility with Aaron Corp no longer in the
backfield. 4. Tyson Seneca, Orange Lutheran- 2006: 910 yards, 11
touchdowns; 2007: See Pemasa. 5. Craig Woods, Mission Viejo- 2006: 495 yards, five touchdowns; 2007:
Some people thought he could have started last season. Did we mention he backed
up all-county back Brian Lockridge? 6. Rap Dantic, Magnolia- 2006: 1,654
yards, 14 touchdowns; 2007: He will probably lead the county in attempts (311
last year). 7. Carlo Audagnotti, Santa Margarita- 2006: 476 yards, three
touchdowns; 2007: He didn´t start until the playoffs and shined with a 200-yard
game and 100-yard game. Now the ball is in his hands. 8. Robert Mojica, Mater
Dei - 2006: 287 yards, six touchdowns; 2007: He will be the feature back
after playing a limited role behind Ahmed Mokhtar last year. 9. Michael
Camacho, Foothill- 2006: 1,346 yards, 21 touchdowns; 2007: Expect big
numbers from someone who plays for a team that loves to run the ball and is the
best team in its league. 10. Jason Davis, La Habra- 2006: 1,307 yards, 12
touchdowns; 2007: He should benefit from playing on one of county´s most
explosive offenses (returning most its key ingredients).
Wes Fletcher's Highlight Reel