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West Ranch finish as runners-up at Saugus Under the Lights

Hart ties for fourth

Posted: June 29, 2013 11:19 p.m.
Updated: June 29, 2013 11:19 p.m.

West Ranch quarterback Chase Killingsworth passes against Canyon on Saturday at the Saugus Under the Lights passing tournament at Central Park.

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At the end of the night there was only one Santa Clarita Valley team left standing at the Saugus Under the Lights tournament, and it was not the team many people were expecting.

West Ranch came into the night as a long shot to win the seven-on-seven tournament that featured some of the best teams from throughout Southern California. Even Wildcats head coach Jan Miller admitted that his squad was an underdog.

“We’re not supposed to be here,” Miller said.

Despite losing in the championship game to Oaks Christian 28-26, West Ranch had not only proven that it did belong, but that it could handle itself among the big boys.

The Wildcats started off the night fast, picking up a big 52-12 win against Atascadero and then a hard-fought 38-32 victory over Foothill League rival Canyon.

It was the semifinal game, however, where West Ranch made its biggest impact of the night.

The Wildcats not only knocked off powerhouse Westlake High, they looked dominant the whole way through. Leaning on the arm of quarterback Chase Killingsworth, an outstanding performance from running back Christian Parrish and timely defense from a number of secondary players, West Ranch came away from the match with an over two touchdown win, 38-24.

Although it lost to another top program in Oaks Christian in the championship game, West Ranch came away from the tournament a winner.

“Right now, we’re still 0-0, everyone else is 0-0, but I can’t take anything away from these guys.” Miller said.

Hart High joined West Ranch in the semifinals, defeating Dorsey 36-18 and Chaminade 24-12 in the two earlier rounds, but lost to eventual champion Oaks Christian in a heartbreaker.

After going down by two touchdowns early on, the Indians stormed back to tie the game on a the last play of regulation on a diving catch by Trent Irwin.

In overtime, Hart was able to work the ball to within the 5-yard line, but failed to convert the opportunity. Oaks Christian scored on its next drive, ending a 48-42 thriller.

The final SCV team in the bracket also made some magic of its own.

Canyon started the day as the No. 16 seed in the 16-team tournament and was faced with the tough test of playing top seed Muir High. Once the game started, however, the Cowboys sure didn’t look like the lower seed, as they wrapped up an impressive 46-12 victory. Canyon was knocked off in the quarterfinal round by West Ranch.

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