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Sylmar Takes Offense, Punches Out University

November 19, 1994|PAIGE A. LEECH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SYLMAR — Jeff Engilman, Sylmar High's football coach, said a friend told him that University Coach Marshall Jones was happy about drawing the top-seeded Spartans in the first round of the City Section 4-A Division playoffs because San Fernando Valley teams are not very physical.

Whether Jones actually said it or not, Sylmar players bought the story and took offense--literally.

While Sylmar's unyielding defense limited University to just 41 yards, the Spartan offense ran wild for 500 to fuel a 46-0 victory over the Warriors.

Motivated by the perceived insult, junior running back Durell Price rushed for 226 yards and four touchdowns in 14 carries.

"We couldn't forget about it all week," said Price, who scored on runs of 22, 95, 17 and two yards. "(Engilman) kept talking about it every day at practice."

Sylmar (11-0), which will face Banning in a quarterfinal game Wednesday, opened the scoring just 14 seconds into the game when Davon Young picked up a squib kick and raced 77 yards for a touchdown.

Two plays later, Price recovered a University fumble, then he converted the turnover himself.

Taking a handoff from Greg Marquez on a draw play, Price scored on a 22-yard run, dragging two University defenders with him the final five yards.

After forcing a punt, Sylmar struck again when Price shrugged off a few defenders at the line of scrimmage and raced 95 yards for his second touchdown, giving the Spartans a 21-0 first-quarter lead.

"(The play) was designed to go outside," Price said. "I got hit but I stayed up and saw open field after that."

Playing without Marco Pleas, a back who rushed for 1,455 yards in the regular season, University (7-4) didn't come close to scoring. Jones would not say why Pleas did not play.

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