Santos scores five touchdowns as Valencia football dominates Silverado

Valencia's Jake Santos (21) runs against Silverado High at Valencia on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Jake Santos scored five touchdowns on Friday night as Valencia football beat Silverado of Victorville 69-19 in the Vikings’ home opener.

Nick Pham scored the first touchdown of the evening for the Vikings (2-0 overall) with 9:31 to go in the first quarter. Then, Santos followed up a minute later when he intercepted a pass from Silverado quarterback Jessie Murillo and ran it in.

With 4:23 left in the first quarter, Ryan Morrison threw a screen pass to Santos, who completed a 16-yard touchdown to make the score 21-0.

Morrison and Santos connected for another touchdown with 36.4 seconds remaining in the quarter, this one a 30-yard score.

“The good thing for Ryan, going in as a senior starter this year, is that he’s got some really good pieces around him,” said Valencia coach Larry Muir. “He’s got a good offensive line, and it’s been really solid. They’ll get better as the year goes, but having Jake Santos with him, I think that takes some of the pressure off him.”

Linebacker Owen Hand had a strong showing in the first quarter, sacking Murillo twice and recovering one fumble as the entire defense successfully worked to contain the Hawks’ running backs.

“It’s not that he leads the defense,” said Santos, who also plays linebacker. “He is the leader. If we didn’t have Owen, I don’t know where we would be. He watches so much film, he studies the game so well and he’s just such a presence and a force on our defense.”

Pham picked up his second touchdown of the night, punching it in from the 2-yard line at the 7:28 mark in the second quarter, giving Valencia a 41-0 advantage.

Valencia’s Nick Pham (2) goes in for the first touchdown against Silverado High at Valencia on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Silverado (0-3) was able to get on the board a little over two minutes before the first half ended, when it recovered a fumble in the end zone.

The Vikings struck back on the ensuing kickoff. Diego Garcia returned a kick 95 yards for a 48-6 lead before halftime.

“Diego is the fastest on the team, and he’s one of the hardest workers,” Santos said. “So, he really deserved that, and he worked really hard. It paid off, of course. He’s amazing.”

Valencia’s Owen Hand (45) sacks Silverado High quarterback Jesse Murillo (11) at Valencia on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Santos scored two touchdowns within one minute at the start of the third quarter. One minute into the frame, he went for a 10-yard touchdown rush, then at 10:43, he recovered a Hawks fumble and ran it in for another to put Valencia up 62-6.

Christian Alcantar gradually picked up more carries in the third quarter and scored at 3:26 on a 21-yard run.

Silverado scored twice more before time expired. First, Murillo passed to Devin Gandy for a 45-yard Silverado touchdown with two minutes to go in the quarter. Then, with eight minutes left in the game, Murillo recovered his own fumble, then pitched to Jaishawn Wright, who finished the play with a 44-yard run.

Valencia continues its preleague schedule next week against Sierra Canyon on Sept. 13. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Granada Hills High School.

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