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Passing league heats up in SCV

• Five Foothill League teams compete in Saugus

Posted: June 21, 2008 2:17 a.m.
Updated: August 22, 2008 5:04 a.m.

Valencia defender Kevin Curtin knocked the ball away from an Oaks Christian player's hands, during Friday's passing tournament at Central Park.

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High school football season may not officially be here yet.

Unofficially, the sport got under way on Friday in the Santa Clarita Valley, with the Saugus "Under the Lights" Passing Tournament at Central Park in Saugus.

Players from Hart, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon and West Ranch competed in the two-day, 24-team tournament, which concludes at 5 p.m. tonight. The final game begins at 9 p.m.

"I liked the fact we were in the finals in the Crescenta Valley tournament last week," said West Ranch head coach Mike Kane, after the Wildcats lost three touchdowns to one to Thousand Oaks. "We needed to catch the ball better. We'll be more competitive."

The teams had 7-on-7 play on a 40-yard field.

Touchdowns counted for six points, interceptions were two points.

Quarterback Jake Bernards threw for one touchdown, and had a few accurate throws dropped here and there.

He is one of a few promising QBs. Valencia gunslinger Dominick Solley threw for five touchdowns, including two to receiver Richie Nyberg, in a 30-12 win over Agoura.

Valencia had tougher competition in Oaks Christian, who led two TDs to one early in the Vikings' second passing league contest. Solley threw for one touchdown.

Last year, Solley broke his finger in Valencia's first practice, when he was slated to start as a cornerback.

The host team, the Saugus Centurions, had an up-and-down tournament. Against speedy Muir High of Pasadena, Desi Rodriguez flinged long balls that sailed long and out of the hands of receivers.

Like most of the teams in the Foothill League, the spread is about 50-50 in regards to returning players versus new players.

Canyon also had some mixed results - a 35-6 blowout of Antelope Valley and a 35-22 loss to Long Beach Poly.

Cowboys senior receiver Chris Rivas performed well.

"It's a real good experience," Rivas said. "It's good to see where we're at, it's good competition."

Hart, which is trying to settle its quarterback situation between Spenser Souza and Ian Shols, showed arm strength with both players. The first play of both Hart and Chaminade were interceptions.

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