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PREP EXTRA: ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Valencia Manages to Outlast Saddleback

November 23, 1996|PATRICK LARKIN

PLACENTIA — Julian Gomez's eight-yard run late in the third quarter gave Valencia a 12-8 victory over Saddleback in the first round of Southern Section Division V playoffs Friday night at Valencia High.

The Tigers (8-3), Orange League champions, move on to face second-seeded Santa Margarita next week. Saddleback ended its season at 7-4.

Valencia's offense controlled the ball for most of the second half. Gomez's touchdown run with 3 minutes 19 seconds left in the third quarter accounted for the only points in the second half.

"I was concerned about turnovers with the weather," Valencia Coach Mike Marrujo said. "But the kids kept their composure and we put enough offense together to win it."

It was a Tiger turnover in the second quarter that led to the Roadrunners' only points. Gomez fumbled the ball at his 46 and Joseph Tagaloa returned the fumble for a touchdown with 9:55 to go in the half.

Saddleback went for two points and was successful when quarterback Juan Cabral hit Frankie Gonzalez for an 8-0 lead.

The Tigers responded with a 13-play, 72-yard drive. The drive was capped by Eric Young's eight-yard scoring pass to Alex Martinez with 4:52 left in the half.

Valencia went for two, but Allen Barajas and John Roncon stopped Gomez short.

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