By Bryanna Winner
For The Signal
Valencia football finished its season with a 17-7 loss to San Clemente at Valencia High School on Friday night.
The Vikings came into the game riding the momentum of a 45-0 win against West Ranch to earn their 11th straight Foothill title, while the Tritons were coming into the game hungry after a 38-6 loss to Mission Viejo last week.
Both teams were strong on the defensive side as there was no score after the first quarter. The second quarter, however, saw a different outcome.
San Clemente came alive about halfway through the stanza with a 20-yard field goal by senior Cole Thompson with 6:46 left in the first half.
The Tritons weren’t done yet though as senior Preston Rex picked off Vikings quarterback Ryan Morrison. From the Valencia 7-yard line, quarterback Nick Billoups rewarded Rex with touchdown catch with 1:28 left in the second quarter to put them up 10-0 at halftime.
Penalties were an issue for both sides but hurt Vikings the most as two of their penalties resulted in Triton points during the first half.
“We make some mistakes against a good team like this, they’re going to make you pay and we made some mistakes,” said coach Larry Muir about the difference between the first and second quarters. “Bottom line is in a game of two really good football teams, the one that eliminates their mistakes are the ones that will come out on top.”
In the third quarter, neither team was able to put anything on the board. In the fourth, both teams were able to tally a touchdown.
James Bohls was able to put the Tritons up 17-0 after a 69-yard run with 9:57 left in the game. Jake Santos was the only Viking to score as he ran it in from the 10-yard line with 3:42 left in the game to bring the eventual final score to 17-7.
“I’m super proud in all the guys, in the effort. We overcame a lot, I felt like, this year and for that, I’m just proud of every single one of them,” said Muir. “There’s a lot to feel good about.”
Valencia finishes its season with a 7-4 record and earned their 11th straight Foothill League title on Nov. 1.