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Foothill football: Vikes take first big one

Valencia defeats Canyon in a shootout in Foothill League’s first marquee matchup of the season

Posted: October 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Valencia running back Stone Jackson (36) bolts ahead of Canyon defensive back Zach Cuha (7) on Friday night at Canyon High.

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For those who were expecting a shootout, they weren’t disappointed. But someone had to make a defensive stop in the game and in the end it was Valencia.

The Vikings defeated Canyon 54-41 on Friday night at Canyon High in the biggest game of the year thus far in the Foothill League.

Valencia quarterback Sean Murphy was 28-of-37 for 457 yards with a school record six touchdowns with two interceptions.

“I think Murphy really connected with the receivers,”  said Valencia slot receiver Malik Townsend on what the difference was. “I knew it would be a shootout, but in the end I didn’t know it would be this nerve-wracking.”

Canyon quarterback Cade Apsay was 22-of-40 for 390 yards, four touchdown passes and two interceptions. He also scored two rushing touchdowns.

His fourth touchdown pass of the game — a 10-yarder to Drew Wolitarsky with 6:02 to play in the fourth quarter — cut the Vikings’ lead to 54-41.

Then the Cowboys (5-2-1 overall, 2-1 in the Foothill League) recovered their onside kick.

Canyon drove the ball to the Valencia 23-yard line and faced a second-and-1.

On the play, Valencia interior lineman Grayson Largman sacked Apsay for a 1-yard loss.

Then Apsay threw an incomplete pass.

On fourth-and-2, Apsay passed for Jesse Gutierrez, but Valencia’s Aaren Dominguez stepped in and knocked the ball away, preserving the win for the Vikings.

From the beginning, it was a scorefest.

On the first play from scrimmage, Murphy found Townsend for a 78-yard gain to the Cowboys’ 2-yard line.

Vikings running back Stone Jackson then punched it in from 2-yards out for the 7-0 lead just 16 seconds into the game.

Valencia (5-3, 3-0) added a second touchdown to go up 13-0 on Murphy’s 7-yard pass to Jay Jay Wilson at the 9:29 mark of the first quarter.

By the end of the first frame, Valencia was up 20-19, as Canyon kept battling.

Apsay set up a 1-yard touchdown run with 1:09 to play in the second quarter with a 34-yard pass to Wolitarsky, who stretched out and dove to grab.

Canyon led 27-26 at the break.

The Cowboys also led 34-26 early in the third quarter after a 37-yard touchdown pass to Liam Cabrera.

But Valencia took over from there by scoring the next 28 points.

Townsend caught seven passes for 176 yards with two touchdowns and Wilson caught six passes for 106 yards with the one score.

Wolitarsky had seven catches for 104 yards.

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