After a disappointing season in 1986, Villa Park High School proved to be an improved football team as the Spartans held off Pacifica, 7-6, in the nonleague season-opener for both at Fred Kelly Stadium Thursday night in front of 1,000.
Villa Park returned 15 starters from last season's team that was 2-8 and last in the Century League.
"We are a better football team than last year," said Pat Mahoney, Villa Park coach. "I feel we are now capable of competing with anyone."
Villa Park used a ball-control offense led by senior fullback John Genova, who gained 129 yards in 19 carries and tailback John Chorbagian, who gained 65 yards in 12 carries.
Genova scored the Spartans' only touchdown on a one-yard run with 1:18 left in the first half. Ryan Hayes' extra point gave Villa Park a 7-6 lead.