Valencia’s Owen Hand (53) is brought down by Nathan Jerzykowski on a screen pass during the second quarter Friday at Valencia High School. The Vikings beat the Wildcats 45-0 to win their 11th straight Foothill League Championship. (Kevin Karzin for SCVTV)
In the final week of Foothill League play, the reigning undefeated Foothill League champs, Valencia, hosted West Ranch at Valencia on Friday.
Blanking the Wildcats through the first half, the Vikings took command of the scoreline early, scoring three total touchdowns and two field goals to take a double-digit lead heading into halftime. They continued the scoring to shut out West Ranch 45-0 to capture the 11th straight Foothill League title.
“I’m just so proud of everyone. I’m so happy right now,” said Valencia quarterback Ryan Morrison. “Defense did amazing, offense did amazing and everyone did their jobs. We got our backups in too, it was a great night, fun night.”
After West Ranch’s first drive stalled, the Vikings (7-3 overall, 5-0 Foothill League) drove down the field and scored the game’s first points on a 41-yard field goal by kicker Ty Morrison with 5:17 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing Valencia drive, Morrison and Jake Santos drove the Vikings 55 yards down the field capped by a 5-yard touchdown catch by Mitchell Torres to make it 10-0 Valencia with 2:15 remaining in the first quarter.
Down by two scores, the Wildcats tried to put together a drive, calling three straight passing plays utilizing one of the league’s best arms in quarterback Walker Eget. But similar to the first two drives, the Cats had to punt.
The Vikings took over and almost turned the ball over on an errant throw that West Ranch’s Jackson Reyes almost intercepted, but turned it into a 13-play drive that ended with another Ty Morrison 36-yard field goal attempt that went just wide.
West Ranch (8-2, 3-2) took over as quarterback Walker Eget connected with receiver Nicholas Kohl for two receptions of 13 and six yards, but on third down turned the ball over as Jordan Brentley intercepted a pass as he was falling down on the Vikings own 41 yard line with 7:45 left in the first half.
Capitalizing on the turnover, the Vikings leaned on Santos as he carried the ball five times resulting in a two-yard run to the pylon to give the Vikings a 17-0 advantage.
Things got worse for the Wildcats on the following drive as Reiger Burgin fumbled a handoff on the third play of the drive that was recovered by Valencia’s Max Manno. Morrison threw his second passing touchdown of the half finding Jayden Lawrence for the 19-yard score just before the half.
At the turn, Morrison connected with Zamondre Merriweather for his third and final passing touchdown of the night on a 19-yard strike just five minutes into the second half.
A Tanner Bench interception on the ensuing West Ranch drive set up Santos’ second rushing touchdown from 14 yards out to give the Vikings a 38-0 lead with 4:07 left in the third quarter.
The Vikings capped the game’s scoring five consecutive runs by Aidan Baptiste that ended with a three-yard run.
While Valencia claimed the league title, West Ranch ended its league season in a three-way tie for second place with Hart and Golden Valley. However, the Wildcats won the coin-toss tiebreaker procedure along with Hart to receive an automatic bid to playoffs.
The CIF-Southern Section will release the playoff brackets on Nov. 3 at noon.
Friday, November 1, 2019 – Santa Clarita, CA — Valencia High School’s Zomondre Merriweather (17) slips past West Ranch High School’s Bryce Buchanan (24) after a short pass reception in the second quarter Friday. (Kevin Karzin for SCVTV)
Friday, November 1, 2019 – Santa Clarita, CA — Valencia High School’s Owen Hand (53) is brought down by Nathan Jerzykowski on a screen pass during the second quarter Friday. (Kevin Karzin for SCVTV)
Friday, November 1, 2019 – Santa Clarita, CA — West Ranch High School’s Quarterback Walker Eget (2) is pulled down by Valencia High School’s Owen Hand during the second quarter Friday. (Kevin Karzin for SCVTV)
Friday, November 1, 2019 – Santa Clarita, CA — West Ranch High School entered Friday’s game against Valencia with high hopes by halftime their high hopes were all but gone as Valencia built a 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back, beating the Wildcats 45-0 in the final game of the Foothill League season. The win brought Valencia their 11th straight Foothill League Championship. (Kevin Karzin for SCVTV)
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