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ORANGE COUNTY SOUTHERN SECTION FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS |
DIVISION XI

Valencia Makes Big Plays, Big Stops to Beat Pacifica

November 18, 2000|ERIC MADDY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Valencia had to move 92 yards in 2 1/2 minutes to beat Pacifica Friday, and the Tigers did.

Pacifica had to go 54 yards in 39 seconds to beat Valencia, and the Mariners didn't.

Valencia took a 21-17 lead on an 81-yard pass play from Robert Hernandez to Sonny Lopez with 39 seconds left in the game, then held Pacifica two yards short of the end zone as time ran out in a first-round Division IX playoff game at Bolsa Grande High.

Pacifica's Chris Wikle passed to Chris Naughton on the game's final play for a 34-yard gain, but Naughton was dropped at the Valencia two with no time remaining.

Valencia (7-4) will host second-seeded West Covina South Hills in a second-round game next week.

"That's the way football is," Valencia coach Mike Marrujo said. "We knew they would make their share of big plays, and the trick is to make more than they do."

Valencia (7-4) made the first big play, as Grant Dhenin picked off a Jacob Clark pass on the second play of the game to set the Tigers up at the Pacifica 39. They converted that into a 7-0 lead after Hernandez connected with Brad Bartczak on a five-yard scoring pass.

Valencia took a 14-2 lead into halftime after Hernandez found Lopez on a 56-yard scoring pass, but the Mariners would turn the momentum around in the third quarter. Brian Chow, who had two interceptions, ended a Valencia scoring threat and launched an 82-yard drive for the Mariners. Pacifica quarterback Jacob Clark went the final two yards on a sweep around the right side to make the score 14-9.

On the next play from scrimmage, Hernandez was intercepted again, and J.P. Lee returned it 31 yards for a touchdown. After a two-point conversion run by Javon Smith, Pacifica led, 17-14.

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