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SOUTHERN SECTION FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS : Central Conference : Valencia Reaches Title Game Again, 21-9

December 06, 1987|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | Times Staff Writer

The method was a bit different this season, but the results were the same for Valencia High School.

And that's what mattered most for the Tigers, who beat Pacifica, 21-9, Saturday in a Central Conference semifinal game in front of 3,000 at Bolsa Grande High.

The victory puts the Tigers into the conference championship game for the second season in a row.

Valencia (11-2) plays Orange League rival Anaheim in next Friday's title game at a site to be determined.

Valencia lost in the 1986 title game, 24-7, to Bolsa Grande.

Robert Navarette, the Tiger quarterback, threw 3 touchdown passes, completing 7 of 12 for 107 yards. Though he did not compile staggering statistics, Navarette was impressive nevertheless. Every time the Tigers needed a big play, Navarette was there to throw a key pass.

All of which is a bit unusual from the Tigers' offensive pattern in recent seasons. In previous seasons, playing quarterback at Valencia was as simple as receiving the ball from the center, turning and handing it to a Tiger running back.

Not this season.

"(Navarette) has won some games for us," said Mike Marrujo, Valencia coach.

Marrujo was asked if the Tigers had planned on throwing as much as they did.

"Sure," he said. "I'm just happy we didn't have to play in that quagmire last night."

The game, originally scheduled for Friday night, was postponed when a rainstorm turned the field into a swamp.

Mike Edwards, Valencia wide receiver, was the chief target for Navarette. He had 3 catches, including touchdown receptions of 34 and 17 yards, for 58 yards.

As a safety, Edwards intercepted two fourth-quarter passes, stopping any chance Pacifica (9-3-1) had of mounting a comeback.

In the first half, he helped the Valencia defense hold Pacifica to a first-quarter field goal, 79 yards and 3 first downs as the Tigers led, 14-3, at halftime.

"Mike Edwards is one of the best athletes in Orange County," Marrujo said. "He's one of the best I've ever coached at Valencia."

The Tigers trailed, 3-0, after Pacifica's Oscar Ravelo kicked a 27-yard field goal with 1:08 left in the first quarter. But it didn't take long for Navarette to get hot in the second quarter.

After the Tigers drove to the Pacifica 34 on the following series, Navarette threw a perfect pass to Edwards, who slipped behind the Pacifica defense for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead.

Then just before halftime, Edwards again got behind the defense. He outleaped a Mariner defensive back in the end zone for the score and a 14-3 lead with 30 seconds left.

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