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Valencia High School
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Valencia defense stuffs Kennedy on final play 14-13


ANAHEIM - Valencia stopped Beau Harvey at the goal line on the game´s final play to defeat Kennedy, 14-13, and cap a wild ending that kept the Vikings' playoff hopes alive.

The Fighting Irish (7-3, 3-3) reached the Tigers´ 1 with 25 seconds to play, but instead of spiking the ball to stop the clock, Kennedy, which was out of timeouts, let the seconds tick down before trying Harvey´s sneak up the gut. It failed. "I screwed up," Kennedy coach Brit Johnson said. "I should have had us spike it. The kids made the plays. We coaches panicked."

Valencia (5-5, 2-4) took the lead on Chase French´s 85-yard kickoff return with 1:20 left to play and Calab Carreno´s extra point moments after Ervin Leuga´s 6-yard scoring catch had given Kennedy a 13-7 lead.

The Empire League victory gave the Tigers five victories and hope for an at-large playoff berth. Kennedy will enter the playoffs as the league´s No. 3 team. "We´ll go on the road and hopefully go and bite somebody," Johnson said.

Rivera´s late spark lifts Cypress 17-0


PLACENTIA The secondhalf performance by the 10th-ranked Cypress Centurions suited Coach Mike Cobleigh better than the first half. Cypress (7-0, 4-0) overcame a sluggish first half to finally put away host Valencia, 17-0 in an Empire League game Thursday. Valencia falls to 3-5 overall and 0-4 in league.

Vincent Rivera snapped a scoreless tie when he raced 32 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the third quarter. The drive started at the Valencia 48 when linebacker Marcus Moore recovered a fumble. Rivera added a 3-yard touchdown with 44 seconds left in the game. He finished with 113 yards rushing and intercepted a pass in the second half.

In between Rivera touchdown runs, Casey Eyman booted a 37-yard field goal for Cypress. "He´s a terrific player," Cobleigh said. "He just keeps working. ...He´s on the field all time." Cobleigh credited the offensive line (Anthony Ianotti, Jeromy Mehr, Steven Carl, Jeremy Miranda, Jacob Higgins and tight end Zack Belanger) for their play in the second half.

The victory, which is the 18th consecutive Empire League victory for the Centurions, started slowly as both teams struggled with offensive consistency. Cypress didn´t gain its initial first down until late in the second quarter when quarterback Chris Austin tossed a 21-yard pass to Victor Vasquez.

Cypress ran just six plays in the first quarter, while Valencia dominated the time of possession. The Tigers ran 18 plays in the opening quarter, including a 12-play drive that stalled at the Cypress 38.The game was scoreless at halftime. "We knew we were going to be in for it," Cobleigh said. "I´m proud that our kids battled." After the game, Cypress senior linebacker Jorden Pounds was taken to Placentia-Linda Hospital. Eyewitnesses said that Pounds had moments where he went in and out of consciousness. A concussion was ruled out.

Capo Valley passes defeat Valencia 24-13

Capo Valley passes defeat Valencia 24-13

PLACENTIA Capistrano Valley rode a 17-point second half to a 24-13 victory over Valencia on Friday night.
The Cougars (3-2) went to the air in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead behind 5-for-6 passing by Mason Dossey on the Cougars´ second drive. Dossey connected on a 15-yard scoring pass to Danny Casas with 1:48 left in the quarter.

Omar Perez led Valencia´s defense in the second quarter to help the Tigers even the score just before the half. His interception of a Cougars pass set up a 14-yard touchdown catch by Greg Hammond with just over a minute left before the end of the half. Brandon Polonia had touchdown runs of 16 and 2 yards.

Valencia (3-1) added a 61-yard TD pass, again to Hammond, to make it 24-13.

Capo Valley rallies past Valencia 14-7


MISSION VIEJO Sticking to a game plan of ball control offense and tough, hard-nosed defense laid out by head coach Chi Chi Biehn proved to be the winning formula for the Capistrano Valley Cougars. Senior running back Clay Guess carried 31 times for 142 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter, while Capistrano Valley´s defense recorded four sacks and yielded only 11 yards passing in a come-from-behind 14-7 nonleague victory over Valencia on Friday night at Capistrano Valley High. "Our goal this week was to play hard and we just kept after it," Coach Chi Chi Biehn said. "We know that we have to continue to improve."

The Cougars (2-2) snapped a two-game skid in which they were outscored, 65-6. "We know the strongest part of our offense is our offensive line and they gave me opportunities tonight," said Guess. After both teams struggled to generate any offense in the first quarter, the Cougars drove deep into Tigers territory, but an interception by senior Karsen Garcia at the Tigers 13 ended the threat.

Midway through the second quarter, the Tigers (1-3) used a turnover to set up the only points of the half, as Tigers junior Omar Perez corraled a bobbled pass and returned the interception 45 yards to the Cougars 1. Two plays later, Perez scored to make it 7-0. However, it was the Cougars who seized the momentum in the third. After forcing a punt on Valencia´s first possession of the half, Capistrano Valley drove 65 yards to narrow the Tigers´ lead to one as senior quarterback Brandon Brennan hit junior wide receiver Bobby Lewis on a 28-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. The ensuing extra was missed.

The Tigers offense was again forced to punt, and TThe Cougars capitalized on their next possesion. After a 37-yard reception by junior Cole Winninghoff put them deep into Tigers territory, Guess converted a key fourth-and-3 from the Tigers 7. Guess finished off the drive with a 2-yard plunge into the end zone.

Brennan then hit Winninghoff on a 2-point conversion for a 14-7 lead. The Tigers had two final possessions in the fourth quarter, but was unable to move the ball amid a swarming Cougar defense.

Booster Meetings for Fall 2008 Season


Due to un-foreseen changes in scheduling, here are are this week game times.

10/8 Freshmen - Wednesday 3:00 PM at Brea-Olinda
10/10 Varsity - Friday 7:00 PM at Brea-Olinda
10/11 JV at Saturday 11:00 AM at Brea-Olinda

Booster Meeting every Tuesday evening.
7:00 PM School Library
500 Bradford Ave. Placentia

For all Valencia Tigers Sports news and events,
visit us at www.VALENCIAATHLETICS.com

Articles by Damian Calhoun, Orange County Register OCVARSITY.COM
EMPIRE LEAGUE - Kickoff '08: In the spotlight


Banquet Tonight

Please Join the Coaches and Players for Our End-of-Season Celebration.
When: Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Where: Yorba Linda Community Center
4501 Casa Loma
Yorba Linda, CA
What: Dinner/Award Ceremony
Time: 6:30pm
Cost: $15.00 per person

Cypress stuns fourth-seeded Valencia, 28-21 Saumer, defense come up big for at-large Centurions


ANAHEIM - Ryan Saumur soared into the end zone from 1 yard with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter to help the Cypress football program reach new heights Friday night. The versatile senior scored the go-ahead points and the Centurions´ defense held one last time as Cypress stunned fourth-seeded Valencia, 28-21, in a Southern Division semifinal game at a soggy and muddy Western High. The victory sends the unseeded Centurions - an at-large selection to the playoffs from the Empire League - to the finals for the first time. Cypress (9-3) could face longtime rival Kennedy or Pacifica in the championship Friday.

Saumur scored on a dive over the pile on a third-and-goal play that featured defensive lineman Chace Packard as part of the blocking scheme. The score and Saumur´s extra-point gave Cypress a 28-21 lead. It also made Valencia pay for another costly turnover. Cypress got the chance for the score after Valencia (8-3-1) lost a fumble on a first-and-goal play from the Cypress´ 5-yard line with 4:11 left. Valencia coach Mike Marrujo said the blast play was designed for running back Wes Fletcher but free safety Toscaleneo Morris scooped up the fumble at his 11.

Fletcher finished with 226 yards, giving him 5,732 yards - fifth on the county list. "It was a miracle, sir," Morris said of the play. "The character of our kids is never quitting," Cypress coach Ray Fenton said. "They kept fighting and fighting and something good happened." Cypress responded with an 89-yard scoring drive that received a major spark on the third play from quarterback Mike Vanderipe.The senior broke a 60-yard run to move the ball to Valencia´s 14. Five plays later, Saumur scored. Vanderipe had success running the option all game and finished with 178 yards.

After Saumur´s 19th touchdown of the season, Cypress´ defense made a final stop at its 32 as time expired. Cypress´ defense forced three turnovers, which led to 14 points. The Centurions, meanwhile, didn´t commit a turnover. "We lost the game for ourselves. We know it," Marrujo said. "They´re a good football team and against a good ballclub, you can not do that." Cypress tied the score, 21-21, in dramatic fashion, too. With seven seconds left in the third quarter, Vanderipe scored on a 1-yard run to cap a quick, 64-yard drive in the final 1:14. of the third. The drive was sparked by a 72-yard completion from Vanderipe to Saumur on an inside receiver screen. After a holding penalty, Saumur took a short pass and raced down the Cypress sideline to Valencia´s 2-yard line, setting up Vanderipe´s second touchdown run.

Irvine fails to stop Fletcher, Valencia The Tigers' star back leads them to a 38-14 victory in the quarterfinals.

The OCVarsity.com

IRVINE - Irvine tried to devise a plan to contain Valencia senior running back Wes Fletcher on Friday night. But like so many teams this season, the Vaqueros had little success. Fletcher rushed for 278 yards on 32 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the Tigers to a 38-14 victory over Irvine in the second round of the CIF-SS Southern Division playoffs at Irvine High. Valencia (8-2-1) advances into the semifinals next week against the winner of the Anaheim-Cypress game to be played Saturday.

"It was probably one of our best games this year," Fletcher said. "Everyone doubted us, but we just played smash-mouth football as Valencia does." Irvine (8-3) scored on its opening drive when quarterback D.J. Crumlich connected with Chris Hong on a 36-yard touchdown pass with 10:08 left in the first quarter. But Valencia took over after that, scoring on its next four drives.

Fletcher scored on a 1-yard TD run midway through the first quarter to tie the score. Then, he scored on runs of 23 and 3 yards in the second quarter to help the Tigers take a 21-7 lead. Jesse Sandoval kicked a 25-yard field goal late in the second quarter to give Valencia a 24-7 lead. "It´s not just Fletcher, it´s their O-line," Irvine coach Terry Henigan said. "I might have run through some of those holes. He´s a great running back but up front they took it to us and we knew we were going to have a hard time with them.

"They´ve got the complete package." With Fletcher dominating the game, Valencia quarterback Dave Pina only passed twice, completing both attempts for 25 yards. Crumlich completed 20 of 34 passes for 215 yards but Kelii Jackson intercepted two of his passes. Nate Jeffries hauled in 11 catches for 91 yards for Irvine.

Valencia grinds out triumph over Savanna 58-28

By Lou Ponsi
The Orange County Register

PLACENTIA -Valencia´s sustained ground attack led by Wes Fletcher, combined with an impressive passing performance from Dave Pina, were too much for Savanna to contend with in a Southern Division first round game played Saturday at Valencia High.

Fletcher carried 30 times for 215 yards and four touchdowns and Pina completed seven of 12 passes for 130 yards and scores to lead tigers to a 58-28 victory. Valencia (7-2-1) will play Irvine at Irvine High on Friday at 7 p.m. in the second round. "I just thought we played solid football, Valencia coach Mike Murrujo said. "Fletcher had a great game."

The Rebels (7-4) had a few speedy playmakers who kept the game close for a while. After the Tigers punted on the first drive of the game, Dominique Williams ran for a 71-yard touchdown on the Rebels´ first play from scrimmage. Fletcher scored on runs of 6 and 2 yards on the tigers´ next two possessions but then Savanna´s Stephen Jones scooped up a fumble and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown to tie the first quarter.

Jones later scored runs of 41 and 82 yards and finished with 133 yards rushing on 11 carries. "They were fast," Murrujo said of the Rebels. "I knew they would probably bust a few." But the Tigers´ had a few playmakers of their own.

Rikee Collins returned a punt 72 yards to Savanna 8, setting up a 12-yard touchdown pass from Pina to Ben Hahle three plays later. Collins later scored on a 44 yard punt return and had two interceptions, one which set up a touchdown.

Valencia kicker Jesse Sandoval, who was brought up from the junior varsity team, was also impressive. Sandoval licked a 49-tard field goal as time ran out in the first half to put Valencia up 37-21. The field goal was set up by a 43-yard pass completion from Fletcher to Collins on the half back option. The Tigers led 44-28 after the third quarter.

Southern: County breakdown 2007

Southern: County breakdown

Western - The Pioneers' lone loss was to Los Altos and they tied third-seeded Valencia in another nonleague game. Western runs a wing-T offense and has four backs with at least 400 rushing yards, led by Ruben Ortega (1,154 yards, 14 TDs).

Los Amigos - The Lobos were 0-4 against teams that qualified for the playoffs.

Pacifica - The Mariners had victories over Troy and Kennedy, which means they are capable of making a deep run in the playoffs. A potential matchup against top-seeded Western in the second round could change the complection of the upper half of the bracket.

Costa Mesa - The Mustangs were 0-5 against teams that qualified for the playoffs.

Santiago - The Cavaliers closed out the regular season with five consecutive victories to take the Garden Grove League title. Danny Rujchanarong has five 100-yard rushing games this season.

Kennedy - The Fighting Irish closed out the regular season with a 20-0 victory over Valencia, which got the No. 3 seed.

University - The Trojans went undefeated in the regular season for the first time, but had to share the Pacific Coast League title with Laguna Hills. University´s game against Laguna Hills got cancelled because of the wildfires, so a coin flip decided which team would be the league´s No. 1 representative and Laguna Hills won. A potential quarterfinal matchup against Kennedy could be very interesting.

Santa Ana Valley - The Falcons closed out the regular season with impressive victories over Magnolia and Savanna to clinch the Orange League´s third playoff berth.

Valencia - The Tigers tied top-seeded Western in a nonleague game and pulled out a 21-20 victory over Pacifica in an Empire League. A 20-0 loss to Kennedy in the regular-season finale is a bit troubling, but the Tigers have the potential to make a run in the playoffs.

Savanna - The Rebels went 7-1 to start the season, which included an impressive 35-21 triumph over Anaheim, but the closed out the regular season with back-to-back losses against Western, 65-7, and Santa Ana Valley, 37-26. Which Savanna team will show up for the playoffs?

Estancia - The Eagles won the Orange Coast League title, but the Orange Coast happens to be the weakest league in the Southern Division. Estancia would have had a hard time finishing in the top three in the Empire, Pacific Coast or Orange Leagues.

Irvine - The Vaqueros' only two losses were against second-seeded Laguna Hills and fourth-seeded University. Irvine should get past Estancia to set up a good quarterfinal matchup against the Valencia-Savanna winner.

Anaheim - The Colonists gave top-seeded Western all it could handle in a 22-17 loss in the regular-season finale. The Colonists, who reached the Southern Division finals last year, have the potential to make some noise in the playoffs.

Garden Grove - The Argonauts struggled outside of the Garden Grove League, but they won five of their last six games to close out the regular season and take the league´s No. 2 spot. Getting past Anaheim in the first round will be a tough task.

Laguna Hills - A victory over Trabuco Hills, the No. 3 seed in the Southwest Division, and three dominant victories over Corona del Mar, Beckman and Irvine in league games helped the Hawks nab the No. 2 seed in the Southern Division.

Cypress - The Centurions performed admirably in their losses against Fullerton, Pacifica and Kennedy, who all qualified for the playoffs, and they closed out the regular season with back-to-back victories over Loara and Katella.

Kennedy crowds top 20-0

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.

Valencia breezes by Katella 39-14

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 Bradford Stadium.

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.

Valencia lets Pacifica know how it feels, Empire: Valencia wins, 21-20

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.

A healthy Fetcher helps Valencia win 29-14

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 halftime.
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.

Valencia runs wild 28-9 against Capistrano Valley

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 quarter.

Fletcher, Empire League offensive player of the year, is week-to-week, Marrujo said. Valencia has a bye next week.

Victory has a nice ring.

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."  

Annual Lasagna Dinner Friday September 21, 2007 4:30-6:15


Please join us for our annual Lasagna Dinner before the big Valencia-El Dorado "Bell" Game
A great time for Families and Friends to gather or meet others in the VHS Football Program.
4:30-6:15pm VHS Cafeteria Cost $6 per person. Includes meal, drink, and desert.


VHS FOOTBALL WEBSITE: www.valenciatigers.com
Activities, Game Schedule, Photos, Coach & Booster Information, and more! 
PayPal is available for Player Contribution & Merchandise Purchases.

Valencia, Western tie 21-21

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 game.

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 failed)
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)

Valencia puts away Villa Park 19-3.


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 touchdown.

"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.

Football season kicks off Valencia 32-29

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, next week.

Top returning running backs in 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

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

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Cypress 3-2-0 7-3-0
Kennedy 0-5-0 2-8-0
Pacifica 4-1-0 9-1-0
Tustin 3-2-0 8-2-0
Valencia 4-1-0 6-4-0
Western 1-4-0 4-6-0

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