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Prep football: Cubs have number

Loyola beats Valencia for the third straight year after Vikings lose late lead

Posted: September 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Valencia defensive back Tedric Thompson walks away from the field during on Friday night's at Valencia High.

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Valencia football was unable to outgrind a determined Loyola team, surrendering 14 unanswered fourth-quarter points in a 24-14 home loss on Friday night.

While Valencia did surrender its late lead, the fact that the Vikings were in a position to win the game at any point was a contradiction to the game’s stat line.

The Vikings ran just 35 plays on Friday night, compared to Loyola’s 65. Loyola also dominated time of possession 37:59 to 10:01.

What kept Valencia in the game was its ability to generate momentum changing plays.

Following a red zone turnover by Loyola, Valencia senior quarterback Sean Murphy found teammate Malik Townsend for a 45 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7 on the last play of the first quarter.

Late in the second quarter, the Vikings blocked a 30 yard field goal to keep the score knotted at 7 heading into the second half,

From there, Valencia defensive back Michael Carter gave his team a 14-7 lead when he took the second-half kickoff 99 yards for a touchhdown.

Unfortunately for Valencia, that play would prove to be the last bright spot for the Vikings.

The Vikings offense failed to convert a 4th and goal in the third quarter, and struggled to come up with clutch plays once the team fell behind.

“It’s definitely hard to get a feel for the game when they have the ball for six or seven minutes at a time,” said Murphy, who finished with 200 yards passing, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. “Our defense did a good job hanging in there, but this team had a different playing style than anything else we’d faced this year.”

After being on the wrong end of the momentum shifting plays in the opening half, the Cubs transformed their 4-point defecit into a comfortable 10-point lead in all but four plays late in the fourth quarter.

The first play was Cubs junior running back Nico Evans’ 10 yard touchdown run, which capped a 16 play, 96 yard drive and gave Loyola a 17-14 lead with 2:43 left to play.

Seven seconds later, Loyola intercepted a Murphy pass.

On the ensuing second down, Loyola backup quarterback Brendand Doney found teammate Mekai Sheffie for a 30-yard touchdown pass to seal the game.

Loyola will attempt to remain undefeated against a formiddable Crespi team next week.

After pushing through a grueling preseason schedule, Valencia (2-3) opens up the Foothill League season at Saugus next Friday.


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