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Foothill football: Vikings’ validation

Valencia knocks off CIF-SS Northern Division No. 1 Hart to remain atop the Foothill League standings

Posted: October 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Valencia's Jay Jay Wilson, left, makes a catch against Hart defender Connor Wingenroth to set up a Valencia touchdown in the second quarter at Valencia on Friday.

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Since 2004, there has not been a rivalry in the Santa Clarita Valley like Valencia-Hart in football.

And with so much on the line Friday night at Valencia High, the rivalry validated itself again.

The Vikings, led by a defense that intercepted two passes in the first half and sacked Hart quarterback Brady White four times in the second half, defeated the Indians 31-20.

“With what Hart was doing we had to get some defensive stops,” said Valencia head coach Larry Muir. “Tedric Thompson and our defensive line played a fantastic game.”

But it’s what the hard-hitting Thompson did on offense that put the game out of reach.

With 1:45 to play, he took a short pass from quarterback Sean Murphy and snaked around the field, putting moves on three defenders for a 39-yard gain that brought the Vikings to the Hart 3-yard line.

Stone Jackson would score after a penalty from 8-yards out, his third rushing touchdown of the game for the 31-20 lead with 1:30 to play in the fourth quarter.

“I think we played with a chip on our shoulder because of last year,” Thompson said. “Coach Muir kept coming up to me and telling me I need to step up. My teammates trusted me. I had to step up.”

Valencia (6-3 overall, 4-0 Foothill League) lost 19-14 last year on a last-minute touchdown. It stayed in the minds of many Vikings.

Now Valencia is 5-3-1 against Hart (7-2, 3-1) since 2004, when the Vikings snapped the Indians’ 65-game Foothill League winning streak.

“I think it was probably their speed and execution,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington on the difference in the game. “They executed better than us. We had our opportunities, but we gave them two (scores) in the second half.”

Hart scored first with a Connor Wingenroth 1-yard touchdown to cap an 18-play drive. The Indians were up 7-0 with 1:01 to play in the first quarter.

It was one of two 18-play drives that culminated in a Hart first-half touchdown.

Valencia, though, scored 10 points in the first half off interceptions by Michael Carter and Anthony Costleigh.

The Vikings took a 17-14 lead into halftime.

Despite allowing Hart to convert on numerous third-and-longs and giving up the big play to Hart wide receiver Trent Irwin (seven catches for 122 yards), Valencia clamped down at key moments.

Viking Josh Stanton led the way with two sacks and Thompson and Costleigh had some big hits.

Now the Vikings are in position to win their fourth straight Foothill title with a win next Friday against winless Golden Valley.


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