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Valencia pulls away from ’Cats

Posted: October 13, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 13, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Valencia's Stone Jackson runs for 11 yards during the first quarter against West Ranch at Valencia High on Friday as West Ranch's Trevor Alshire, right, and Noah Ziskind go for the tackle. The Vikings won 55-7.

 

Behind an up-tempo offense and the precision passing of Sean Murphy, the visiting Valencia football team struck early and often in a 55-7 victory over West Ranch on Friday night at Valencia High School.

Running the no-huddle offense, it took Murphy just six plays and 3:44 of clock before he hit Malik Townsend on a 26-yard touchdown strike to begin the avalanche that didn’t slow until the Vikings led 35-0 at the half.

Vikings head coach Larry Muir was happy with the way his team controlled the pace throughout the evening.

“We wanted to establish the rhythm of the game and since we’ve gone to the no huddle, we’ve been getting better every week,” Muir said. “Tonight’s success is just another step to where we ultimately want to go with our offense.”

Murphy’s decision-making was a key factor in the success of the newly installed offense, as the senior finished the game with 297 yards and four touchdowns through the air, while hitting nine different receivers in a little more than two quarters of work.

At the other end of the spectrum was West Ranch senior quarterback Gerrit Mouw, who finished the first half without a completion on four attempts and was picked off two times by Spencer Hixon, with both turnovers leading to Murphy touchdown passes.

Unlike Mouw, Murphy benefited from great protection and was able to stand in the pocket and make his reads. After the game, he quickly gave credit to his offensive line.

“They were great,” Murphy said. “I love having more time. It makes life a lot easier.”

Another key factor was the ineffectiveness of West Ranch top receiver Rawston Redick, who was held to one reception, which ended up being a negative play.

With the Wildcats lacking any form of a passing game, the defense was able to tee off on Mouw, bringing him down seven times on the night.

West Ranch head coach Sean O’Brien noted the lack of offensive balance his team displayed.

“We’ve always said that our offense works best when we have both things working, and when only one of them is, the defense can take it away from us and that’s what happened tonight,” O’Brien said.

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