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First time since ‘97 that Foothill team has not made final

Posted: December 6, 2008 10:36 p.m.
Updated: December 7, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Vikings quarterback Dominick Solley (7) is chased down by a Moorpark defender in the thrid quarter of the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division Semifinals at Valencia High Saturday. Valencia lost the game 30-8.

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Reservations have been canceled.

A fixture in CIF-Southern Section division title games since 1997, the Foothill League's run has ended.

With Moorpark's 30-8 thrashing of the Vikings in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division semifinals Saturday night at Dr. Paul A. Priesz Stadium, the Musketeers ensured there would not be a representative from the Foothill League in a division championship game for the first time since 1997.

The Valencia defense was unable to contain Moorpark in the first half, as the Musketeers scored on every possession.

"They were everything we thought," said Viking head coach Muir after the game. "They are a well-coached team and they are physical and strong."

Only giving up an average of 13.3 points per contest in the games leading up to Saturday night's matchup, the Vikings allowed the Musketeers 27 points in the first half, largely due to the efforts of junior running back Austin Edmonson.

Edmonson rushed for 162 yards in the game and one touchdown, breaking off runs of 38 and 68 yards. His play opened up the passing game for junior quarterback Brody Rohach.

Rohach kept the ball moving and hit senior wide receiver Tim Vizzi for a 9-yard score to put Moorpark up 17-0 in the second quarter.

"We just wanted to get after it," Rohach said. "Last week we only put up six (points in their 6-0 win over Atascadero), so we were anxious to show what we could do."

The Musketeers' dominating defense kept the shutout through three quarters and only gave up 11 yards rushing to Valencia running back Jordan Thompson, before he was replaced by Rocky Maldonado in the second half.

However, the Vikings and senior quarterback Dominick Solley refused to give up.

Solley finished the game with 181 yards passing, including a 61-yard catch-and-sprint to Zach Tartabull midway through the fourth quarter. The two connected again to convert the 2-point conversion.

"We didn't lay down," Muir said. "They kept fighting and I'm so proud of them."

However, Solley also threw three interceptions, one of which was returned 20 yards by Moorpark's Derrious Johnson for a second-quarter touchdown to make it 24-0.

Junior kicker Steven Picchini rounded out the scoring for the Musketeers.

Picchini knocked down field goals from 46, 45 and 32 yards out.

"It hurts," Muir said to his team. "It's supposed to hurt."

Solley and Tartabull's embrace at the end of the game summed up the team's frustrations, both unable to communicate, neither wanting to let go.

"I can't even talk right now," Solley said.

Moorpark moves on to face St. Bonaventure in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division Championship on Friday at Angel Stadium.

Thanks to Santa Clarita Christian's appearance and victory in the CIF-SS Division I 8-Man Championship Friday, a Santa Clarita Valley team has reached a final in every year since 1996.


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