Three different running backs scored in Valencia football’s 54-23 win over Great Oak of Temecula on Friday night at home.
Luring Paialii scored three times, Moises Haynes scored twice and Jayvaun Wilson scored once.
“We motivate each other by scoring,” Paialii said. “If one person scores, the other person wants to score. But we don’t do it for ourselves; we do it for the team. We just love each other.”
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Paialii dented the scoreboard first for the Vikings (10-1 overall) in the first-round CIF-Southern Section Division 2 matchup with a four-yard touchdown rush.
On the following Wolfpack possession, quarterback McGwire Bustamante threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Danny Morales to tie the game with four minutes left in the first quarter.
When the Vikings got the ball back, Great Oak (5-6 overall) forced a safety to gain a two-point advantage.
Downs quickly recovered, however, and threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Mykael Wright.
Paialii opened up the second quarter with his second touchdown of the night on a 6-yard scamper. He followed that with a 9-yard touchdown rush to close the first half.
“He’s gotten better and better as the year has gone,” Muir said while, along with the rest of the coaching staff, wore a beaded necklace courtesy of Paialii’s Samoan father during the game.
“He’s getting more comfortable in the things that we do and you can see it almost by the day, by the week, he just gets better and better.”
Downs connected with Wright on a 40-yard touchdown pass to open the second half, then Bustamante threw his second touchdown pass of the night to Notre Dame-commit Jack Lamb.
With six minutes left in the third frame, Moises Haynes punched it in from the 10-yard line for his first TD, then from the 14 for his second.
Jayvaun Wilson notched his touchdown with a 40-yard rush midway through the fourth quarter.
Great Oaks scored once more with 15 seconds left to play, but their fate was already sealed.
Valencia will play Norco in the second round of playoffs on Friday, Nov. 17.