By Jon Stein
For The Signal
In all its seasons of varsity football, Valencia has never squared off with an out-of-state team.
After Friday’s result against Chaparral of Scottsdale, Arizona, the Vikings might want to do this more often.
Valencia had its way with Chaparral in all facets of the game, pushing the Firebirds around in a 56-14 rout at Valencia High School.
Firebirds quarterback Jack Miller entered the game with all the hype that comes with being a sophomore with nine NCAA Division 1 scholarship offers to his credit; it was the Vikings’ Connor Downs, though, who shined.
The lefty showcased his arm and speed in the win, keeping plays alive and never taking his eyes off his downfield receivers.
In just under three quarters of action, the senior threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns.
Miller was 15-of-30 for 162 yards and a touchdown.
“I was happy to face an opponent of such a stature,” Downs said of Miller. “It was a challenge for me and I had to try to outplay him. Humbly, I think I did.”
PHOTOS: Valencia beats Chaparral at home
The Vikings (2-0) came out of the gates hot, scoring on their first five possessions of the evening, including an 8-play, 80-yard drive to open the game, and a 2-play, 89-yard drive to cap off the first-half scoring.
Running back Moises Haynes took the ball on both plays of that drive, blasting through the line for an 82-yard carry, before punctuating the effort with a bruising 7-yard rush to give Valencia the 35-0 lead.
Haynes finished with 197 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns.
The Valencia defense shut down Chaparral for most of the night, as the Firebirds converted just one first down in the game’s first half.
Chaparral (1-2) finally got on the board on its opening drive of the second half, when running back Joshua Edwards found the end zone on an eight yard carry.
It didn’t seem to bother the Vikings much, though, as Downs responded less than two minutes later with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Zion Dunson.
In the end, the Vikings might have been facing an out-of-state team for the first time in its history; but the result was familiar, as Valencia followed last week’s 49-9 win over Palmdale with a second straight blowout victory.
“You’re not familiar with them,” Muir said of facing an out-of-state team. “But on the flip side, they’re not familiar with us. It ends up being about preparation.”
Clearly, the Vikings were prepared for Chaparral.