Prep football notebook: Valencia displays loads of positives in heartbreaking loss

Valencia's Moises Haynes (43) runs through the defense at Calabasas High School on Thursday. Dan Watson/ for The Signal

It was probably for the best that Valencia and Calabasas football met Thursday of last week for their shootout, which the Coyotes won, 65-63.

That gave coach Larry Muir and the Vikings a little extra time to digest the 18 touchdowns and over 120 plays the teams combined for ahead of Valencia’s Foothill League opener Friday against Hart.

The Vikings dropped their first game of the season but they came away with nearly as many positives as touchdowns in the shootout loss.

Valencia quarterback Connor Downs turned the ball over three times (one interception, two fumbles) but showed tremendous poise in finding check-down receivers — which took the form of Moises Haynes on most occasions.

Downs nearly doubled his season high with 417 yards while completing 24 of 35 passes. He also threw a 25-yard touchdown to Mykael Wright and rushed for a 1-yard score.

MORE: Valencia football falls by two points to Calabasas

Downs’ performance paled into comparison, though, to Haynes, who rushed for a season-high 217 yards and four touchdowns.

The senior showcased his downhill running style, bouncing off Coyotes defenders all night. The Valencia offensive line also owned things up front, paving the way for eight rushing touchdowns.

Wright did an admirable job covering Calabasas sophomore Johnny Wilson — ranked as the No. 4 receiver in his class, according to 247Sports — though Wilson did haul in three touchdowns.

Foothill League loaded with ranked teams

As Foothill League play opens this week, four of its six teams will enter league play ranked in the top 10 of their respective CIF-Southern Section division.

Valencia fell three spots No. 5 in the Division 2 rankings. Golden Valley is ranked fourth and Canyon is ranked ninth in Division 6. Both teams are coming off byes last week.

West Ranch — off to its first 4-0 start since 2011 — sits at No. 4 in the Division 9 standings and is also coming off a bye. The Wildcats open league play Friday against Canyon.

Santa Clarita Christian School won its third consecutive Faith Bowl over Trinity Classical Academy on Saturday and remains at No. 6 in the Division 13 poll.

Valencia’s Wilson gets Pac-12 offer

Valencia’s Jayvaun Wilson announced over the weekend on Twitter that he received an offer from Washington.

The junior running back and safety said it was the first collegiate offer he’s received.

Wilson made the most of his three carries in Thursday’s win, rushing for touchdowns on all three.

He entered last week’s game with 116 rushing yards on 16 carries to go with six touchdowns.

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