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San Clemente Holds Down Upland, 27-7

November 19, 2005|Peter Yoon, Martin Henderson | From Times Staff Reports

San Clemente Coach Eric Patton says that if his team is to advance deep into the Southern Section Division II playoffs, the running game is going to have to carry the Tritons.

For now, however, he'll take a victory led by his defense. San Clemente stifled a potent Upland offense with seven sacks and three interceptions in a 27-7 first-round victory Friday night at Upland.

The Tritons (7-4) got big plays on offense when they needed them -- a 40-yard touchdown pass play from Mike Cook to Kyle Spriggs with 10 seconds left in the first half for a 14-0 halftime lead and a 54-yard connection between the two on third and 14 for a 27-7 lead with 4:27 left to play -- but their defense carried the evening.

"That's a great defense we have," Patton said. "We're going to have to run the ball better, but it's nice to fall back on them."

Upland (8-3) entered the game averaging 39.2 points and 383 yards in offense. Against San Clemente, the Highlanders gained 265 yards and had only 10 first downs. A late third-quarter quarterback switch to Kurios Alexander sparked Upland, which had only 66 yards and three first downs before he entered the game.

Alexander rushed for 98 yards in nine carries and completed five of 10 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown, but three of his passes were intercepted -- two of them in the end zone.

San Clemente scored in four plays on its opening drive, highlighted by a 30-yard run by Cook and a 20-yard run by Josh Martin. Josh Ferrell capped it with a two-yard scoring run.

Taylor Patton, a force the entire game on defense, blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown to give San Clemente a 21-0 lead with 3:34 left in the third quarter.

Casey MacIntosh and Kenan Cox each had two sacks for San Clemente. Beau Poteet, Kenneth Davis and Jordan Cenzer each had interceptions. Cenzer's came with 49 seconds left in the first half and set up San Clemente's second touchdown.

The Tritons will play host to Canyon Country Canyon, a 49-21 winner over La Verne Damien, in a quarterfinal game next week.

Peter Yoon


Valencia 61, Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills 42 -- It was time, Valencia Coach Larry Muir said, for his stars to play like stars, and senior quarterback Michael Herrick and junior running back Shane Vereen answered the call.

Herrick, being aggressive as his coach wanted and making plays because he's a playmaker, passed for 235 yards in the first half, and Vereen danced around Trabuco Hills defenders for another 144 and four of his six touchdowns as the Vikings built a 42-14 halftime lead.

They weren't alone. Ricky Crouch intercepted two passes and returned them 59 and 41 yards for first-half touchdowns.

"They played the way they need to," Muir said of his two stars. "Michael was aggressive, and that was good to see. But we still have a lot to do [on defense]."

By the time Herrick and Vereen were finished, they had done plenty of damage. Herrick, who needed only four attempts to become the school's career leader in that category, completed 17 of 30 passes for 363 yards and a touchdown, a 35-yarder in the fourth quarter to Jason Engelberg.

Vereen carried 15 times for 207 yards and touchdown runs of eight, five, 39, one, 16 and 48 yards.

Valencia (8-3), which took a 28-0 lead into the second quarter, will next play host to third-seeded Chino Hills, a 34-27 winner over Rancho Cucamonga.

Trabuco Hills (6-5) was down, 35-0, before rallying behind Sean Reilly and P.J. Vallier, Orange County's leading rusher.

Vallier ran for 340 yards and one touchdown in 34 carries and scored on a 22-yard pass play. Reilly completed 13 of 34 for 221 yards and two touchdowns.

-- Martin Henderson

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