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Vikings, Cowboys reach semifinals

Valencia and Saugus both lose to Nick Montana and Oaks Christian; Canyon drops back-and-forth game

Posted: June 27, 2009 10:36 p.m.
Updated: June 28, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Canyon sophomore Andre Beets, center, tries to catch a pass against Chaminade Saturday at the Saugus 2009 Under the Lights Passing Tournament.

The Foothill League advanced a trio of teams in the Champions Bracket of the Under the Lights Passing Tournament Saturday at Central Park in Saugus.

Both Valencia and Canyon won a pair of 7-on-7 games in the tournament to advance to the semifinals before falling to a pair of schools with high hopes for the fall.

Valencia knocked off Paraclete in the first round 28-20 behind four touchdown passes from Alex Bishop and a key interception. The Vikings followed up that win with a come-from-behind victory over Long Beach Poly, also by the score of 28-20.

“I think our effort today was incredible,” said Valencia head coach Larry Muir. “We fought and fought and fought. I was proud of how our guys worked to get done what needed to be done. I’m honestly blown away by the effort our guys showed because we have a lot of players that are out injured or playing banged up.”

Valencia’s day came to an end when it could not rally against Oaks Christian, dropping the game by eight points.

Canyon’s day began with a 34-12 win over Sylmar. Next, the Cowboys won a dramatic 30-24 game over Chaminade.

Mark Kirkpatrick threw the game-winning score for Canyon.

“Our defense came through for us today,” said Canyon head coach Chris Varner. “We had our backs against the wall against Chaminade, and we pulled it out. I mean, it’s not real football, but the last couple days were very helpful for our guys as far as working on their timing.”

Canyon finished the tournament by losing a back-and-forth game to Alemany.

Saugus picked up a close 32-30 win against Palmdale in its first game of Saturday’s tournament after pool play on Friday

“It’s rewarding to see what we’ve worked on in practice,” said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn. “It’s kind of like the fruits of labor were on display.”

The Centurions could not maintain their momentum, however, suffering a 40-12 defeat at the hands of Nick Montana and Oaks Christian. For the second consecutive day, Nick’s father Joe Montana was present at the event.

“Oaks Christian is tough,” Bornn said. “I mean, they have a Division I-level recruit at pretty much every position.”

Golden Valley also participated in the tournament, but did not qualify for the Championship Bracket, losing all five of its games.


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