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Valencia Has No Problem Rolling Over Anaheim


PLACENTIA — Is there any stopping Valencia High School's high-scoring football team?

It certainly doesn't appear so after the Tigers rolled to another easy victory Thursday night, romping past Anaheim, 43-6, in an Orange League game.

Valencia (9-0, 4-0) had the game wrapped up at halftime with a 28-0 lead and Coach Mike Marrujo sat starting quarterback Marc O'Brien with 7 minutes 39 seconds remaining in the third quarter after the senior helped build a 36-0 lead.

But then, scoring points has become commonplace for Valencia in its past two games. The Tigers have totaled 93 points in victories over Brea-Olinda and Anaheim (2-7, 0-4), setting up a showdown next week with Savanna for the Orange League championship.

Valencia's skill-position players--twins Korey and Kevin Alexander and running backs Willie Barnes and Ryan Roskelly--made it look easy against Anaheim.

Korey Alexander gained 101 yards in only four carries, scoring on touchdown runs of 65 and 15 yards in the first half. Kevin Alexander caught six passes for 82 yards and it was difficult to determine whom is the better player.

Barnes, the Tigers' power runner, led all rushers with 102 yards in 15 carries and scored on a 16-yard run. Roskelly added 61 yards in eight carries as Valencia amassed 291 yards rushing.

"I've never had so many good skill-position players," said Marrujo, who is generally reserved when evaluating his team.

But perhaps the key element of Valencia's attack is O'Brien's accurate passing and leadership. O'Brien is the unsung hero on a team that averages 36 points per game. Against Anaheim, he completed 6 of 8 passes for 121 yards.

"He gives them a dimension that I don't think they've ever had there, a strong-armed thrower who is consistently accurate," Brea-Olinda Coach Jon Looney said after this team lost to Valencia, 50-17, last week.

O'Brien is the top-rated passer in the county, but Marrujo thinks his quarterback is vastly underrated.

"He doesn't get the exposure that a lot of others do, but he's very good," Marrujo said. "The bottom line is, he doesn't make mistakes."

Valencia's defense, led by three-year starting tackle Scott Williams, also was impressive. The Tigers limited Anaheim to 36 yards rushing and had seven sacks, including three by reserve Anthony Salazar in the fourth quarter.

Valencia appeared to be on track for its fifth shutout of the season, but Anaheim running back Che Garcia ended that possibility with a nifty 79-yard scoring run with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter.

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