GRANADA HILLS — Valencia football was handed its first loss of the season on Saturday night as they fell 28-10 to fellow CIF-Southern Section Division 1/2 team Sierra Canyon at Granada Hills High School.
“Sierra Canyon is a really good team and it’s a good test for us just to see what we need to get better on,” said running back Nick Pham. “The focus this week is definitely going to be on fixing small things and I think small things kind of ruined us this week.”
The Vikings’ first touchdown came in a complicated way.
Ty Morrison received the snap and due to a miscommunication, was forced to throw the ball instead of punt it. The ball was intercepted by Sierra Canyon’s DJ Harvey, but on the Trailblazers’ ensuing posession, Valencia’s Hunter Koch picked off a pass from quarterback Amari Powell.
“We were getting momentum after that, then we ended up scoring and that was good,” Koch said. “I just really wish it would’ve kept going like that for the rest of the night.”
Then, with 4:57 left in the first quarter, Ryan Morrison pitched the ball to Jake Santos for a 40-yard touchdown. Ty Morrison hit the PAT to put Valencia (2-1) up 7-0.
“Personally, I thought it was redemption for that play and then also following the kickoff I was excited to prove myself after the miscommunicated play,” Ty Morrison said.
Before the first quarter came to a close, Sierra Canyon’s Hunter Williams punched it in from the 1 to even the score at 7-7.
Ty Morrison drilled a 30-yard field goal to give the Vikings a 10-7 advantage, but the Trailblazers (3-1) took the lead back 19 seconds before halftime as Chayden Peery passed to Donovan Williams for a 9-yard score.
There was no scoring in the third quarter, but Pham did block a Sierra Canyon field goal. He took the ball to the 35-yard line with three minutes left in the frame.
The Trailblazers were able to score twice more in the fourth quarter. First, Powell went on a 22-yard run with eight minutes to go, then Jason Jones went on a 74-yard tear at the 3:24 mark to put Sierra Canyon up 28-10.
Ryan Morrison finished the game 16-for-30 for 201 yards and one touchdown. Pham rushed 25 times for 45 yards and Santos had three catches for 44 yards.
“Me and Santos, it’s like a partnership,” Pham said. “He teaches me a lot and then like, it’s just crazy because we work together all the time through summer, like all he way until now. We’re always together, it’s just like, a bond.”
Valencia next hosts Loyola on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.