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Déjà Valencia

Musketeers end Valencia’s season for second time in semifinals

Posted: December 5, 2009 11:31 p.m.
Updated: December 6, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Valencia wide receiver Jake Reed catches a pass to score his team's first touchdown in a 40-14 loss to Moorpark at Valencia on Saturday.

Valencia’s offense ground to a halt against Moorpark Saturday, and its defense was uncharacteristically lenient.

The game bore little resemblance to how the Vikings have played this year.

And it bore a little too much resemblance to the way they exited the playoffs last year.

Moorpark tailback Austin Edmonson rushed for 195 yards and three touchdowns, and the Musketeers’ defense picked off Valencia quarterback Alex Bishop four times in the second half in a 40-14 victory in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division semifinals at Valencia High School.

For the second straight season, the Vikings (12-1) couldn’t get anything going against Moorpark (12-1) and bowed out of the postseason at Dr. Paul A. Priesz Stadium.

“Hats off to Moorpark,” said Valencia head coach Larry Muir. “That’s what I’ve got right now.”

The Vikings fell behind 16-7 late in the first half before running back Steven Manfro took a short pass 52 yards to the Moorpark 4-yard line.

He plunged into the end zone one play later to cut the lead to 16-14 at halftime.

Instead of giving Valencia momentum, however, the series only seemed to anger Moorpark’s talented defense.

“It was a big momentum swing,” said Moorpark head coach Tim Lins. “It was a motivator for us.”

Valencia started the second half with a three-and-out, and Moorpark quarterback Brody Rohach scored on a 20-yard scramble on the next drive to put the Musketeers up 23-14 midway through the third.

“We didn’t start the second half like we wanted,” Muir said. “We just didn’t execute.”

Toward the end of the third, Moorpark’s defense picked off Bishop for the first time and Edmonson cashed in from 8 yards out.

Two more interceptions in the fourth led to a 48-yard field goal by Moorpark kicker Stephen Picchini and a 3-yard touchdown run by running back Tyler Peterson to set the final score.

After a 55-yard touchdown run by Edmonson in the first quarter, Valencia got on the board when wide receiver Zach Tartabull tossed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Jake Reed on a trick play.

In the second quarter, however, Picchini kicked a 45-yard field goal and Edmonson turned a botched punt by Valencia into an 8-yard touchdown run.

“I don’t think we matched their intensity,” Tartabull said.

Bishop finished 17-of-31 for 193 yards, while Manfro led the Vikings with 60 yards rushing and 80 yards receiving.

Rohach and Utah-bound Brian Blechen combined to finish 5-of-11 for 46 yards passing, but the Musketeers’ ground game and defense were too much.

Muir had some departing words for his senior class.

“They’ve been terrific since the day they got in our program,” he said. “They’re great kids off the field. It’s a special group that really put a stamp on our program.”



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