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Vikings charge hard to the finals

Valencia's defense shuts down Saugus to move to CIF title game

Posted: November 29, 2013 11:20 p.m.
Updated: November 29, 2013 11:20 p.m.

Valencia running back Stone Jackson (30) runs around Saugus defender Austin Davenport during Friday night's CIF-Southern Section Northern Division semifinal game at Canyon High School. Valencia won the game 45-8.

The Valencia Vikings football team punished the Saugus Centurions 45-8 on Friday at Canyon High School to break its semifinal curse and reach a CIF championship game for the first time since 2004.

The bottom line was Valencia was far too physical for the Centurions in the CIF-SS Northern Division semifinals.

It turned out maybe too physical.

With the Vikings up 26-0 early in the third quarter, Saugus quarterback Chris Hamilton directed a pass over the middle for receiver Timmy Kahovec.

Kahovec was met with extreme force by Valencia safety Jay Jay Wilson.

Wilson stood over Kahovec for a moment in celebration.

Kahovec squirmed on the ground in pain. He eventually got up and later nodded that he was OK on the sideline.

The Saugus coaching staff went out on the field in disgust as Wilson bounced around in admiration of the play.

The referees threw a combined six flags onto the field.

The hit appeared to be clean, but the referees threw Wilson out of the game for targeting Kahovec with what they thought was a helmet-to-helmet hit.

The referees penalized him for that, the Saugus coaches for running out onto the field and a blowout turned into an eerie second half, as both sidelines were quiet from then on.

Wilson can’t play next week in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division championship game against Hart because of his ejection — a game that will be played at Valencia High next Friday.

“Every week is an obstacle. Every week is a challenge. Hopefully we step up to the challenge,” said Valencia head coach Larry Muir on being without Wilson — Valencia’s most physical player and one of the Santa Clarita Valley’s most talented football players.

Muir and Saugus head coach Jason Bornn didn’t want to talk about the chaos that ensued after the play and the play itself.

However, it was a microcosm of how the game was played.

From the start, both teams showed their cards.

Saugus (7-6) blitzed early and often and Valencia (11-2) hit hard and strong.

Unfortunately for the Centurions, the blitzing worked sometimes, and didn’t in others.

Saugus blitzed Valencia quarterback Jake Wallace on a third-and-7 from his own 20-yard line midway through the first quarter, and he connected with Stone Jackson on a screen pass that ended up being an 80-yard touchdown.

Valencia led 6-0 at the 6:35 mark of the first quarter.

The Vikings benefited from great field position throughout the first half and on their next drive started on the Saugus 45.

Jackson later scored on a 2-yard touchdown to give the Vikings a 13-0 lead.

They added a 35-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter on a pass from Wallace to Nick Jones on another Saugus blitz.

Valencia took a 20-0 lead into halftime.

“We shortened up our routes and tried to give Wallace as much time as possible,” Jones said on countering the Saugus blitz.

The Cents had six sacks in the first half — two by Blake Austin and two from Chase Madrigal.

“I think they were able to complete some big plays and take advantage of our defensive aggressiveness,” Bornn said.

But the Centurions’ offense was absent.

They had 28 offensive plays in the first half and only eight total yards.

Saugus had 142 total yards in the game.

Centurions running back Reid Rupe, who tallied 326 rushing yards in Saugus’ playoff upsets of Atascadero and Mira Costs, managed just 2 yards on seven carries in the game.

He injured his shin in the second quarter and didn’t play in the second half.

Hamilton completed 7-of-22 passes for 44 yards with two interceptions, but was under duress the whole game and didn’t play in the fourth quarter after also suffering an injury.

Valencia scored 18 second-half points off turnovers.

Saugus’ only score was on an Austin Davenport 3-yard run in the fourth quarter, followed by a 2-point conversion run by Marc Langford.

Wallace didn’t play in the second half as a precaution.

He suffered a concussion last Friday in Valencia’s quarterfinal win over Arroyo Grande,

He was 13-of-22 for 235 yards and two touchdowns against Saugus.

Valencia had lost its last five semifinal games coming into this game.

Now it plays in its fourth CIF championship game.

This is the third CIF title game between Hart and Valencia — 1999, 2001, 2013.

Hart won both previous meetings.

“Let’s change history,” said Valencia linebacker Justin Son.


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