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Simply dominant: Valencia routs Saugus

Valencia clinches at least a share of the Foothill League title with shutout

Posted: November 6, 2009 11:51 p.m.
Updated: November 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Valencia wide receiver Zach Tartabull (80) gets by Saugus' Adam Torres (15) during the third quarter of the Vikings' 49-0 win Friday at Cougar Stadium.

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Not an off night from the star running back. Not a swell of penalties. Not even the defending league champions.

Nothing could keep Valencia from clinching at least a share of the Foothill League championship.

Vikings quarterback Alex Bishop threw for 426 yards and three touchdowns and Valencia hit several big plays to blaze past Saugus 49-0 Friday at Cougar Stadium.

With the Centurions stacking the box to stop running back Steven Manfro, Bishop found seven different receivers and made them pay.

"We take what people give us," said Valencia head coach Larry Muir. "We have a lot of weapons so we're not afraid to go to other guys."

Two of those guys were Zach Tartabull and Brock Vereen, who both had big nights.

Tartabull was barely touched as he returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, and Vereen had a 90-yard catch-and-run touchdown to open the second half.

"Everybody can't play their best every week, but Manfro was still good," Vereen said. "If somebody's lacking, the rest of us are going to pick up for him."

Valencia's offense racked up 571 total yards, but the defense was equally dominating.

The Vikings (9-0, 4-0) held the Centurions to just 46 total yards.

Saugus (3-6, 2-2) was in its first game without quarterback Zack Gauthier, who suffered a season-ending injury last week.

Junior Chase Boscia completed just 1-of-9 passes for two yards against Valencia's swarming defense, and the Centurions tried to run a variation of the Wildcat formation with receiver Manny Padron in the backfield.

Padron led the team with 33 yards rushing.

"We felt we did some good things, but you can't give up big plays against a team that's so explosive," said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn.

Valencia was flagged for 17 penalties for 170 yards, many of which came during the third quarter.

"I think there was a level of frustration," Muir said. "The kids did a great job channeling it. It's good to see them respond to that. They kept their composure well."

Saugus didn't pick up a first down until after halftime, and it came on a helmet-to-helmet hit penalty on the Vikings.

The Centurions gained just three first downs in the game.

Valencia, meanwhile, could not be stopped.

After Tartabull's kickoff return, Manfro plunged into the end zone from 3 yards out to put Valencia up 14-0.

Toward the end of the first quarter, Bishop found Max Rodriguez for a 58-yard touchdown on a four-way misdirection play that left Rodriguez wide open down the left sideline.

Bishop dumped off a pass to Manfro late in the second quarter, and the running back turned it into a 45-yard touchdown.

Backup quarterback Alex Guerra tossed a 3-yard touchdown to Matt Nyberg to give Valencia a 35-0 lead at halftime.

After Vereen's touchdown, Manfro capped the scoring early in the fourth quarter with a 5-yard touchdown run.

Manfro finished with just 70 yards rushing on 12 carries but found different ways to be effective. Rodriguez led the Vikings with four catches for 114 yards.

Jon Aguirre had Saugus' longest reception, a 5-yard catch from Padron, and he also gave the Centurions good field position with his kick returns.

Saugus must beat Canyon next week to finish third in the Foothill League and earn the final automatic playoff spot.

"Our goal and focus is on Canyon," Bornn said. "They're a good team for a team that's 1-8. They're better than their record."

If Valencia beats West Ranch next week, it will claim the outright Foothill League championship.

"We've got to finish it next week," Muir said. "We talk about finishing all the time. It's the final week before the playoffs, so we have to keep the momentum going."


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