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Prep football: Vikes air out Saugus

Valencia passing game and defense are keys in win

Posted: October 6, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 6, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

Valencia football began its Foothill League season with a convincing 38-0  win over Saugus on Friday night at Valencia.

“As far as we are concerned we are now 1-0,” said Vikings head coach Larry Muir. “We stress the importance of finishing each week of preparation with a win and we accomplished that task this week.”

On Friday, it was clear that Muir’s emphasis on preparation was heard by his players, as the Vikings dominated on both sides of the ball.

After being physically bullied by Loyola last week, Valencia refused to allow Saugus (1-5 overall, 0-1 league) to establish it’s running game.

The Centurions finished with just 89 yards on the ground, and found it difficult to convert on critical third and fourth down conversions as a result.

Three times in the first half the Centurions failed to convert a fourth down deep in Valencia territory, resulting in key momentum swings and ultimately costing Saugus the few opportunities it had to put points on the scoreboard.

The Vikings’ offense found no such problems on Friday.

On the first drive of the game, Valencia senior quarterback Sean Murphy led a 79-yard touchdown drive that gave the Vikings a 7-0 lead.

In the second quarter, the Vikings (3-3, 1-0) scored 17 points.  Seven of those came on an 86 yard, 53 second drive that culminated with a six-yard touchdown pass from Murphy to Vikings junior receiver Nick Jones with under a minute left in the first half.

Perhaps the most important development during Friday’s game was the emergence of Jones as a game-breaking receiver.

Jones caught nine passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns on Friday night, including three catches for 30 yards or more.

“It’s my first year playing in this area and I just wanted to show people who I am and what I can do,” Jones said. “As every week has gone on, my timing with Sean has improved, and today we had a good game together.”

Murphy would go on to finish 21-of-35 for 327 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

After a bend-but-don’t-break effort in the first half, Valencia’s defense smothered the Centurions, not allowing Saugus to cross the 50 yard line until the final seconds of the game.

Despite the team’s scoreless effort, Saugus sophomore quarterback Chris Hamilton turned in a gritty effort, racking up 176 of his team’s 219 total yards on Friday.

If the Centurions hope to pick up their first league win over Canyon next week, they must do more to help Hamilton.

Valencia looks to move to 2-0 when they face West Ranch next Friday.

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