Coming off a close loss to Sierra Canyon, Valencia football knows that this week’s matchup against Loyola is crucial in getting the momentum needed to finish out preleague strong.
“Last week’s loss was tough one,” said quarterback Davis Cop. “We felt like we did some stuff well, came up short, so we really got after it this week in practice and I thought we had a good week continuing to grow as a team and do things better that we need to to get the win.”
Loyola is also coming off a loss, a 30-7 defeat at the hands of Cathedral.
Valencia’s offense has dealt with adversity this season. Starting running back Jayvaun Wilson has yet to see game action due to a knee injury, and Jake Santos, who took over the job after Wilson went down, left the Sierra Canyon game with an apparent knee injury.
Luring Paialii had the majority of carries in the remainder of that game, but was limited due to injury in the second half. On Monday, coach Larry Muir said there was no timetable for Santos’ return and that Paialii was day-to-day.
“Whoever is going to be in there at running back is going to be fine and they’re being a good offensive line that’s had a good past couple of weeks,” Cop said. “We’ve developed a lot of depth at running back, it’s going to put more pressure on the passing game and help our running game out but that’s how it should always be.”
Cop’s primary targets this season have been Kohler Shockley, who has hauled in three passes for 56 yards last week and Hunter Koch, who had four catches for 38 yards and one touchdown. Cade Erickson was the third-leading receiver with 36 yards on two catches.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Loyola.