Prep football notebook: One SCV team on the rise, Foothill League running backs flourish

Valencia High School’s Luring Paialii turns upfield on a screen pass during the second quarter against Arbor View of Las Vegas, NV, Friday, August 24, 2018. Kevin Karzin/For The Signal
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Football season has just begun and while some SCV teams have gotten off to a hot start, others have struggled out the gate.

Saugus (2-0) has outscored its opponents 114-26 and Trinity (2-0) 96-6 in the first two games of the season. Golden Valley (0-2), on the other hand, has been outscored 108-14 in its first two games.

Hart, which was ranked No. 7 in Division 3 in the CIF-Southern Section polls before playing its first game, dropped out of the rankings after losing its season opener 33-21 to Downey.

Canyon was also ranked as the seventh-best team in Division 6, but fell out of the top 10 after its 42-27 season-opening loss to San Fernando, last year’s CIF Los Angeles City Section Division 1 champions.

While three SCV teams were ousted in the latest rankings, (Trinity was ranked No. 10 in Division 13 after its first win, but inexplicably not ranked after winning its second game 58-6), one SCV team continues to turn heads and it’s being reflected in the latest CIF-SS polls.

West Ranch, ranked No. 10 in Division 6 preseason rankings, moved up a spot in the polls after their 39-14 season-opening win over Nordhoff. After beating Burroughs 54-0 last week, the Wildcats have moved up to No. 6 in the latest polls, which were released on Monday.

Wildcat surpasses rushing TD total from last season
In only two games this season, West Ranch starting running back Ryan Camacho has already surpassed his rushing touchdown total from last year.

In 2017, Camacho had four rushing touchdowns. So far in 2018, Camacho has five rushing touchdowns, already giving him one more rushing score than he had all of last season.

While scoring is obviously important, Camacho had a clear goal coming into this season when it came to rushing:

“Last year I’d break off big runs, but a lot of my other runs weren’t big,” Camacho said. “I’m trying to get at least five yards per carry.”

With 172 yards on 17 carries in his first two games, he’s well on his way to doubling his preseason prediction, averaging 10.1 yards per carry so far.

Valencia relies on running back by committee
While Vikings starting running back and Oregon commit Jayvaun Wilson recovers from a knee injury, Valencia will use several different ball carriers in the backfield.

In their 17-14 season-opening loss to Arbor View, the Vikings utilized three different running backs, with two of them scoring. Senior Luring Paialii had five carries for 17 yards and a touchdown, adding 22 yards on two receptions. Junior Jake Santos tallied six carries for 22 yards and three receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. Junior Nick Pham had three carries for four yards and lost a fumble.

“They worked hard all week. They all watched film, they all studied,” Wilson said. “I think they did good filling in for me. I’m proud of them. They did what they could for the team.”

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