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Canyon Runs Past Valencia, 49-21

November 05, 2005|Eric Sondheimer; Mayar Zokaei; Dan Arritt | From Times Staff Reports

Canyon Country Canyon unleashed a four-touchdown barrage to start the second half and routed Valencia, 49-21, Friday night at Canyon, setting up a season-ending Foothill League title-decider against Newhall Hart next week.

Leading the way for the Cowboys (8-1 overall, 4-0) was junior John DiLuigi, who rushed for 212 yards in 21 carries and scored five touchdowns, giving him a Southern Section-leading 35.

DiLuigi broke a 21-21 halftime tie when he caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Austin Civita on Canyon's first possession of the third quarter. Then he added a 36-yard touchdown run, and Valencia (6-3, 2-2), ranked No. 9 in the Southland by The Times, was finished.

Valencia quarterback Michael Herrick, who completed nine of 11 passes for 201 yards in the first half, finished with 283 yards and two passes of his passes were intercepted in the second half. Herrick needs 249 yards to become the state's all-time career passing leader.

Much credit for the victory goes to Canyon's Harry Welch, who has been coaching since the 1960s and knows how to spot a weakness. He saw an opening in the middle of Valencia's defense and had Civita run 13 quarterback draws. Civita finished with 97 yards rushing and scored twice.

Canyon was frustrated early by its inability to prevent Shane Vereen of Valencia from breaking loose on big plays. Vereen had a 65-yard touchdown run on a draw and returned a kickoff 96 yards for a score.

But the Cowboys sacked Herrick five times and denied him the big play in the second half. It was a critical victory for a Canyon team that had its skeptics because of a weak nonleague schedule and a one-point loss to Simi Valley. "This was a big step up for us," DiLuigi said.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Beverly Hills 52, Santa Monica 36 -- With his team trailing at halftime, 24-17, Carter Paysinger, Beverly Hills' 16-year coach, knew he had to make defensive changes to counter the Vikings' four-receiver passing attack.

Paysinger moved his linebackers out and his safeties in, and those adjustments, combined with Ramon Judkins' 275 rushing yards -- 202 in the second half -- and four touchdowns resulted in 35 consecutive second-half points and a major scoreboard adjustment for the host Normans (8-0-1, 4-0).

Judkins scored on runs of one and 65 yards on Beverly Hills' first two second-half possessions, and Tyler Grady returned a fumble 48 yards for a score to open a 38-24 lead with 50 seconds left in the third quarter of the Ocean League game.

E.J. Woods scored on a 16-yard run to pull Santa Monica (7-2, 3-1) within 38-30 early in the fourth quarter, but Judkins followed with a 35-yard scoring run and Spencer Paysinger, the coach's nephew, caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Meyer Linter.

The Normans will face Culver City next week in pursuit of their first league title in nine years.

Ryan Katz completed 16 of 29 passes for 238 yards but no touchdowns for Santa Monica. Cameron Collins caught eight passes for 106 yards and had two interceptions.

-- Mayar Zokaei

Los Angeles Jordan 40, Huntington Park 21 -- Senior Ricky Thenarse proved he's one of the top athletes in the City Section, catching three passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns in the second half to help the host Bulldogs (7-2, 5-0) move into position to clinch their first outright league title in two decades. Jordan was a tri-champion of the Eastern League in 2001, along with Bell and L.A. Roosevelt.

Thenarse rushed for 70 yards in 13 carries and completed a 30-yard double pass to set up another touchdown. A starter at free safety, he also started at quarterback in place of Jerry Jackson, who was benched, along with running back Carell Johnson, for being late to practice earlier in the week.

Both entered the game at the start of the second quarter and immediately helped Jordan take control. Johnson scored on a 17-yard run to make it 7-0, then added another touchdown from eight yards with 44 seconds left for a 21-0 halftime lead.

The Spartans (8-1, 4-1) cut the deficit to 27-21 on a one-yard fumble return by defensive lineman Reathana Heu with 9:37 remaining, but Thenarse followed with a 65-yard pass play from Jackson for a score and Johnson added a 42-yard touchdown run.

-- Dan Arritt

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