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Valencia Wins, 12-9, Avoiding Whitewash

Foothill: Canyon shuts down Viking star until he breaks loose for game-winning 56-yard touchdown run.


VALENCIA — Manuel White of Valencia High scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns and the Vikings came from behind to defeat Canyon, 12-9, in an emotional Foothill League game Friday night at College of the Canyons.

White, held to 33 yards through three quarters, broke free for a 56-yard game-winning touchdown run with four minutes to play. He finished with 106 yards in 15 carries.

Canyon responded with a 14-yard run by Julian DeLeon on fourth-and-14, but the drive stalled at midfield when Jason McKeon's fourth-down pass fell short.

During post-game handshakes, Coach Larry Mohr of Canyon directed a heated verbal lashing at a Valencia assistant coach, who Mohr said taunted his players about the victory.

"One of their coaches completely disrespected us," Mohr said. "He's been saying stuff about us all year and one of our coaches asked him not to taunt our players and he said, 'It's a win, baby.' "

Canyon (6-3, 3-1 in league play) led, 9-0, after McKeon ran in from one yard late in the third quarter to cap a drive that lasted 8:07, and seemingly had control with Valencia (6-3, 3-1) unable to move the ball.

But Canyon let some opportunities slip away, including a double-reverse pass play on its final drive that appeared to be a 45-yard gain to the Valencia 30-yard line. The pass was ruled incomplete because the referee said receiver Scott Phillips was juggling the ball when he hit the ground.

"Manny White, that's all you've got to say," Mohr said. "We put our life in to this. Our players put their lives into this and our coaching staff puts its life into this, so you tell me how tough it is to lose a game like this."

Valencia, which had just 40 yards at halftime, made some adjustments on the fly, drawing up four running plays on the locker-room chalkboard at halftime to compensate for an unexpected defensive scheme by Canyon.

"We were practicing against an entirely different defense all week," Coach Brian Stiman of Valencia said. "So we literally drew four plays on the board and said we're going to stick with these. You can't teach kids too many plays at halftime."

They worked when Valencia finally got the ball.

The Vikings had possession for less than 15 minutes through the first three quarters, including 4:08 in the third.

But White capped a eight-play, 59-yard drive with a nine-yard touchdown to pull Valencia within 9-6 with 10:04 to play.

The Vikings forced Canyon to punt after another dropped pass by Canyon on third down.

Punter Pat Terry of Canyon pinned Valencia at its two-yard line.

Quarterback Brian Hamilton who completed one pass for three yards before the final drive, found Stephen Stokes for 20 yards and connected with White for another 20 on third-and-long plays to set up White's game-winning touchdown run.

"This shows we can fight through the hardships," White said. "We lost our best defensive back early and we fought through it."

White was referring to Nick Carey, who was ejected in the first quarter because he threw a punch at a Canyon player.

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