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ORANGE COUNTY SOUTHERN SECTION FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS |
DIVISION IX

Valencia's Rally Comes Up Short

November 25, 2000|MIKE HAUBRICH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Despite a spirited second-half effort, Valencia couldn't overcome a 15-point halftime deficit and lost to West Covina South Hills, 27-19, in a Southern Section Division IX second-round game Friday at Valencia High.

Trailing, 21-6, midway through the third quarter, Valencia's Sonny Lopez intercepted Huskie quarterback Chris Eadie's pass at the South Hills 42-yard line and returned the ball to the South Hills five. On fourth down, Tiger running back Grant Dhenin scored on a one-yard dive to cut the lead to 21-12.

South Hills (11-1) came right back, going on a 10-play drive to the Tiger 22. But the drive stalled, and the Huskies settled for a 39-yard field goal from Adrian Rosales to make it 24-12.

The Tigers (7-5) appeared to have one last gasp when Robert Hernandez hit Lopez with an electrifying 80-yard touchdown pass play with 4 minutes 51 seconds remaining. Lopez caught the ball at the Valencia 25, broke a tackle, and streaked down the sideline untouched to cut the lead to five.

But Rosales kicked a 47-yard field goal with 54 seconds left to make it 27-19, and Hernandez had a pass picked off four plays later to end the game.

"They were just a little too fast for us," Tiger Coach Mike Marrujo said. "We were trying to minimize our mistakes, but we made just a couple more than they did."

Eadie threw for 192 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, but the Tigers held him to only 41 yards passing in the second half.

"[Valencia] could have given up when they fell behind early," South Hills Coach Steve Bogan said. "But I give them credit. They came back and made this a war."

Lopez finished with three receptions for 125 yards for Valencia and he also had two interceptions.

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