Valencia football hands Golden Valley first shutout loss of season

Valencia's Jack Seymour (51) picks up a Golden Valley fumble and goes in for a touchdown in the second quarter at Valencia on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Valencia football handed Golden Valley its first shutout loss of the season on Friday night, beating the Grizzlies 34-0 at Valencia High School and consequently, keeping its undefeated Foothill League record.

With four minutes left in the first quarter, Valencia scored its first touchdown of the evening when Jake Santos went on a 15-yard run into the end zone. 

Mitchell Torres got the scoring going for the Vikings (5-3 overall, 3-0 in Foothill League) in the second quarter, punching it in from the 1-yard line.

Valencia scored back-to-back touchdowns to close out the first half. First, Vikings quarterback Ryan Morrison threw a 22-yard pass to Torres, who took it in for his second touchdown of the night. The PAT was no good, but Valencia still held a comfortable lead at 20-0.

Valencia’s Mitchell Torres (5) makes a catch near the goal line to set up Valencia’s second touchdown in the second quarter against Golden Valley at Valencia on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Torres has seen an increased role on offense and defense after a collarbone injury ended two-way player Hunter Koch’s season.

“Hunter is out now, so I’m asked to catch more balls and run more routes and be more of a leader on the offensive side,” Torres said. “It’s been tough with Hunter out but I accepted the challenge and I think I rose up to it.”

Golden Valley (7-2, 1-2) fumbled on its ensuing possession. The Vikings’ Jack Seymour scooped up the fumble and returned it for a touchdown. Jake Santos completed the 2-point conversion and gave Valencia a 28-0 advantage heading into halftime.

Valencia was able to put up one final touchdown, but the Grizzlies didn’t make it easy. Golden Valley’s defense held the Vikings within five yards of the end zone for three straight plays until Nick Pham finally broke through for a 1-yard scamper to make it 34-0.

Valencia’s Jake Santos (21) runs over Golden Valley defender Jacob Cipperley (21) and goes in for a touchdown in the first quarter against Golden Valley at Valencia on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

The defense continued to be the bright spot for the Grizzlies in the second half. Carlos Meza intercepted Morrison to give Golden Valley one more possession before the game ended.

“I thought Carlos Meza played a really good second half,” said Golden Valley coach Dan Kelley. “He had the interception made a couple good tackles. I thought our defensive line played better against the run in the second half.”

Dean Miller stood out for the Vikings on defense, logging four sacks in the game. Miller recently switched from middle linebacker to defensive end and has been flourishing in the position.

“I’ve just got to focus on the little things, get better each week and work together as a team,” Miller said. “Moving from linebacker to d-end, it was definitely a big change, but I’m just learning the rules, picking it up and just working hard.”

Golden Valley hosts Canyon, while Valencia travels to Saugus. Both games are scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m.

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