Fans threw confetti and released bundles of blue, yellow and white balloons in Bradford Stadium on Thursday night after Valencia High School running back Ray Pallares ran three yards off left tackle in the second period against Savanna to become Orange County's all-time leading rusher.
Pallares, who increased his career record to 4,329 yards, breaking the mark of 4,164 yards set by Santa Ana Valley's Myron White during 1972-74, first received a hug from offensive lineman Joe Garten.
The rest of Valencia's offensive team offered congratulatory pats on the helmet, and referee Jim Patterson gave Pallares the game ball.
In typical Pallares fashion, the senior took the ball, hurled it to a Tiger assistant coach on the sideline, and then went back to the huddle.
It was back to business.
No speeches from the Placentia mayor. No presentation of a key to the city. No victory laps around the stadium in a fancy sports car. No kisses from a beauty queen.
That's the way Pallares wanted it. As little fanfare as possible.
Pallares had finished with 238 yards on 16 carries and scored 3 touchdowns.
Throughout the season, Pallares continually downplayed the record, saying that people were making too much of it.
"I really haven't done anything great," Pallares said two weeks ago, when he was 263 yards away from breaking the mark. "I was just around at the right time."
When the game was over, after Pallares had led the Tigers to an easy, 63-0, victory over the Rebels in front of 4,500 fans, he was, as usual, quiet.
In fact, it was hard to tell Pallares had accomplished \o7 anything\f7 .
"Inside, I'm kind of happy, but outside I can't show it too much, because my (offensive) line is so responsible for it," Pallares said. "It hasn't sunk in, but hopefully in a couple of years, I'll look back at it and be happier than I am now."
Pallares entered Thursday night's game 73 yards shy of White's record. It was inevitable that he would break it against a weak Savanna team that had allowed 105 points in five nonleague games.
Valencia fans knew it and \o7 capital\f7 ized on it, as boosters pawned off "Run Baby Ray" buttons, and T-shirts and hand towels with the inscription: "Orange County's All-Time Rushing Leader: Pallares."
Pallares proceeded to clean up.
He opened the game with a 38-yard touchdown run on Valencia's first play and later added scoring runs of 68 and 41 yards.
He tied White's mark with a seven-yard run on fourth down that gave the Tigers a first down on the Savanna 21-yard line. He broke it with a three-yard run, barreling over two Rebels with 7:33 left in the first half.
Valencia Coach Mike Marrujo pulled him at the start of the fourth period, but not before Pallares had increased his career rushing yardage total to 4,329 yards. It marked the fifth time that Pallares had gained 200 or more yards in a game.
"I'm just happy we got all of this out of the way," Marrujo said. "We're all very proud of Ray. He's been a very big contribution to our program for three years."
The biggest contribution to Pallares' record has come from Valencia's huge offensive line, which features Garten, 6-feet 3-inches and 235 pounds, Mark Williams (6-5, 250), Xavier Hicks (6-1, 230), Ken Recla (6-0, 220) and Alan Harrison (6-0, 190).
They completely dominated the Rebels (1-5), paving the way for the Tigers (5-1) to gain 405 yards on the ground. Pallares' backfield mate, Tony Goulet, also had a big night, rushing for 144 yards on 12 carries and scoring 3 touchdowns.
Goulet also had touchdown runs of 78 yards and 51 yards called back by penalties.
Ray Pallares / How He Did It
Opponent Score Carries Yards TDs 1985 Westminster 6-7 27 99 0 Sonora 33-0 27 168 2 El Dorado 17-10 27 226 2 Troy 33-0 21 108 1 Bolsa Grande 48-0 16 190 3 Savanna 63-0 16 238 3