Vikings football in a familiar spot
Valencia's Jayvaun Wilson (6) holds up the ball in celebration after making a touchdown for the Vikings during their Foothill League opener against Hart on Friday. Katharine Lotze/Signal
By Signal Contributor
Thursday, November 10th, 2016

A flawless Foothill League season that led to Valencia High football’s eighth consecutive Foothill League title puts the Vikings (8-2) in familiar territory, playing in their 10th consecutive postseason.

They’re also fairly familiar with the team they’ll host in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 first round on Friday night: Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, having gone 1-4 against the Knights in five meetings since 2004.

“Notre Dame is a very well-coached, disciplined, tough football team,” said Valencia defensive coordinator Robert Waters. “In order to beat them, we have to play physical and fast.”

Strength and speed are two characteristics that give the Vikings one of the area’s most potent backfields during the regular season. Running back Moises Haynes led the charge with 1,246 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.

MORE football: Hart has its hands full with Phantoms

Sophomore Jayvaun Wilson, who has rushed for 378 yards (9.7 yards per rush) and eight touchdowns this year, will be unavailable against Notre Dame due to an unspecified injury, Waters said.

Vikings quarterback Aaron Thomas, who had six rushing touchdowns of his own, benefitted from the attention Haynes and Wilson received from opposing defenses. Thomas has completed 148-of-240 passes for 2,384 yards and 18 touchdowns to only six interceptions.

“Haynes is one heck of a running back and, to be quite honest, there aren’t many people that like to square up and tackle him in practice.” Waters said. “It’s also nice to have a signal-caller like Thomas who’s accurate, tough, and smart.”

The Knights (5-5) are the fifth-place team out of the Mission League but are riding a two-game win streak into the playoffs on the shoulders of a running game that rivals Valencia’s and may prove problematic for the Vikings’ defense.

“They have three running backs they rotate in, and they’re all very good,” Waters said. “We have to swarm the football, that’s the bottom line.”

Valencia’s front seven, which has helped the defensive unit garner 112 tackles for a loss, will be tasked with slowing down the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Kylan Wilborn, whose size and strength allowed him to run for 580 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Behind Wilborn, Khalid Taylor and Chris Galvez combined for 807 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Despite the obstacle facing Valencia in the first round, the Vikings are determined to achieve something they’re not so familiar with in the playoffs.

“We’ve never won a CIF Championship,” Waters said. “It’s going to be a challenge. Our kids have to play well and our coaches have to work hard in preparing the kids. Hopefully, we’ve done our jobs and we find success.”

About the author

Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor

Valencia's Jayvaun Wilson (6) holds up the ball in celebration after making a touchdown for the Vikings during their Foothill League opener against Hart on Friday. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Vikings football in a familiar spot

A flawless Foothill League season that led to Valencia High football’s eighth consecutive Foothill League title puts the Vikings (8-2) in familiar territory, playing in their 10th consecutive postseason.

They’re also fairly familiar with the team they’ll host in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 first round on Friday night: Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, having gone 1-4 against the Knights in five meetings since 2004.

“Notre Dame is a very well-coached, disciplined, tough football team,” said Valencia defensive coordinator Robert Waters. “In order to beat them, we have to play physical and fast.”

Strength and speed are two characteristics that give the Vikings one of the area’s most potent backfields during the regular season. Running back Moises Haynes led the charge with 1,246 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.

MORE football: Hart has its hands full with Phantoms

Sophomore Jayvaun Wilson, who has rushed for 378 yards (9.7 yards per rush) and eight touchdowns this year, will be unavailable against Notre Dame due to an unspecified injury, Waters said.

Vikings quarterback Aaron Thomas, who had six rushing touchdowns of his own, benefitted from the attention Haynes and Wilson received from opposing defenses. Thomas has completed 148-of-240 passes for 2,384 yards and 18 touchdowns to only six interceptions.

“Haynes is one heck of a running back and, to be quite honest, there aren’t many people that like to square up and tackle him in practice.” Waters said. “It’s also nice to have a signal-caller like Thomas who’s accurate, tough, and smart.”

The Knights (5-5) are the fifth-place team out of the Mission League but are riding a two-game win streak into the playoffs on the shoulders of a running game that rivals Valencia’s and may prove problematic for the Vikings’ defense.

“They have three running backs they rotate in, and they’re all very good,” Waters said. “We have to swarm the football, that’s the bottom line.”

Valencia’s front seven, which has helped the defensive unit garner 112 tackles for a loss, will be tasked with slowing down the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Kylan Wilborn, whose size and strength allowed him to run for 580 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Behind Wilborn, Khalid Taylor and Chris Galvez combined for 807 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Despite the obstacle facing Valencia in the first round, the Vikings are determined to achieve something they’re not so familiar with in the playoffs.

“We’ve never won a CIF Championship,” Waters said. “It’s going to be a challenge. Our kids have to play well and our coaches have to work hard in preparing the kids. Hopefully, we’ve done our jobs and we find success.”

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 19 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]