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Bishop, Manfro lead Valencia in rout of visiting Birmingham

Posted: September 17, 2009 11:18 p.m.
Updated: September 18, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Valencia wide receiver Brock Vereen scores the Vikings second touchdown of the game against Birmingham on Thursday at Valencia High. The Vikings won 56-31.

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Valencia’s football team put future opponents on notice with a 56-31 win over Birmingham on Thursday.

The Vikings are not a one-man show.

This week, it was Alex Bishop’s turn to lead the offense.

The junior quarterback threw for 245 yards on 11-of-14 passing with five touchdowns and rushed for one more — all in the first half.

An additional rushing touchdown by Manfro made the score 49-7 by halftime and put the game out of Birmingham’s reach.

But the Patriots’ (0-3) defense still didn’t fare much better than the Vikings’ (2-0) last opponent in stopping talented junior running back Steven Manfro, after he tore through the Lancers for more than 300 all-purpose yards in week one.

“I think (the win) shows that we have many threats so they can’t just focus on one guy or we can hurt you with someone else,” said senior wide receiver Brock Vereen. “It also shows that Manfro doesn’t have to take the load of the offense on his shoulders. He can relax a little bit.”

Manfro had plenty of time to relax in the second half — as did most of Valencia’s starting lineup — after he rushed for 191 yards on 14 carries before halftime.

On offense, Vereen carried his share of the load with three receptions for 73 yards, two of which were for touchdowns.

On the other side of the ball, Vereen made several big plays defending the pass as Birmingham got behind early and were forced to the air.

Patriots’ starting quarterback Maxwell Smith completed 6-of-18 passes in the first half for 67 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but finished with 262 yards thanks to a few long drives after the game was out-of-hand.

Valencia head coach Larry Muir said he was particularly happy the way his defense improved its tackling after giving up 36 points to Thousand Oaks.

“Our defense did a great job of stepping it up this week,” Muir said. “They played much faster, and I was really proud of them.”

The Vikings’ starting defense left Birmingham without a first down for most of the first half.

“Nothing worked,” said Birmingham head coach Jim Rose. “We couldn’t do anything on offense. We can’t leave our defense on the field that long.”

Viking senior backup quarterback Alex Guerra led an 80-yard drive to open the second half, capping it off with one-yard touchdown run to make the score 56-7.

The Vikings’ reserves then gave up four touchdowns as the Birmingham passing attack gained momentum in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late for the Patriots.



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