Valencia begins postseason run against Great Oak after dominant regular season

Valencia's Mykael Wright (2) and teammate Zachary Semko (80) celebrate a touchdown during a football game against Chaparral of Scottsdale, Ariz. on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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Valencia football has coasted through Foothill League play. Now, it’s time to see what they can do against fellow Division 2 teams.

The Foothill League champions are the No. 3 seed in their division and take on Great Oak of Temecula at home tonight.

“Playoffs are always exciting,” said coach Larry Muir. “Our guys are eager to play in a playoff atmosphere and all that kind of stuff. I think they’re getting to that kind of point where they’re trying to reach their goals and get to where they want to be.”

One such player is Connor Downs, who has shown steady progression at the quarterback position throughout this season. Downs has completed 105 of 165 passes for 2,354 yards and 23 touchdowns with four interceptions across 10 games, according to MaxPreps.

MORE: Valencia puts finishing touches on Foothill League title against Canyon

It helps that he’s got a plethora of targets to throw to, including Mykael Wright, Zion Dunson, Kyle Quintal and Zachary Semko.

The Vikings’ have a tried-and-true ground game, too, led by Moises Haynes and Jayvaun Wilson and reinforced by Wright, Jake Santos and Luring Paialii.

Great Oaks (5-5) brings a powerful defense, however, highlighted by Notre Dame commit Jack Lamb. The defense as a whole has never allowed more than three touchdowns in any game this season.

“They’re a good football team, they do a lot of blitzing on defense, a lot of man coverage and they mix things up really well,” Muir said. “It’s going to be a physical, fast football team we’ll have to deal with.”

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