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Brock Vereen: Make room big brother

Vereen does it all for Valencia in front of a Viking legend

Posted: November 27, 2009 11:43 p.m.
Updated: November 28, 2009 4:55 a.m.

VENTURA - You couldn't ask Valencia senior Brock Vereen for much more on Friday night at Buena High School.

The 5-foot-11-inch defensive back/wide receiver excelled at both positions, hauling in two touchdowns and intercepting a first-half pass to help the Vikings advance to the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division semifinals for the second year in a row with a 49-22 victory over the Bulldogs.

"Today was very special to us," Vereen said. "You know, last week we didn't play to our potential. So this week, we needed a great effort to do the best we could."

Valencia (12-0) beat Thousand Oaks 28-27 a week ago, but had to hold off the Lancers late.

This week, the effort was much more decisive.

Vereen had a pair of 35-yard touchdowns from quarterback Alex Bishop to help build a 35-7 halftime lead, while also adding a pair of solo tackles and a pass defended to sustain it.

"Brock Vereen, his leadership all year has been terrific, and I think tonight he did a great job of displaying that," said Valencia head coach Larry Muir.

The senior rested most of the second half as the Vikings enjoyed a comfortable lead, but could still be seen actively cheering on the replacements.

"He's critical," Muir said. "He and Zach Tartabull are seniors that are critical to our success on both sides of the ball. They do so many things. They are big playmakers and at the same times, they do the little things right."

Tartabull also plays both ways.

On the season, Vereen now has 42 tackles, eight interceptions and two passes defended to go along with 20 receptions for 474 yards and seven touchdowns offensively.

"Brock's a great athlete. That's obvious," Bishop said. "These couple weeks, he really came up for us when we needed him. I trust him a lot as a receiver, just like I do all my receivers."

Vereen's quickness wreaked havoc on the Bulldogs and allowed him to slip behind the defenders and close in on passes defensively.

But perhaps the best part of Friday's effort was the fact that he got to do it in front of his brother Shane Vereen, who now plays running back at the University of California, Berkeley.

"That's everything," Brock said with a smile and a laugh. "I love my brother, love everything he does. He's my No. 1 role model and it's great to put up a performance for him."

Shane couldn't be happier for his brother, and hadn't seen him play since Oct. 10 when the Vikings defeated Loyola of Los Angeles 35-14 at Los Angeles Valley College.

"He's really progressing as a player," Shane said. "He's making me proud."

And noting Brock's growing confidence and swagger on the field, Shane said his brother's future looks bright.

"Brock can play as far as he wants," Shane said. "He's got all the skills. He's got all the heart, the determination. He's got the hunger, and if he wants it, he can play at any level."



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