The Valencia Vikings (5-6) were unable to overcome a long trip to Newport Harbor (7-4), falling to the Sailors, 43-17, in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 playoffs.
“Once you get to the playoffs, you know, we gave ourselves a chance,” Valencia head coach Larry Muir said. “We knew it was gonna be a tough draw, and credit to Newport Harbor, they played well.”
Valencia got its two touchdowns from senior Brandon Boateng. He returned a kickoff 96 yards for a score in the second quarter before finishing off his high school career with a receiving touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Valencia senior Cameron Fontal hit a 48-yard field goal in the third quarter to wrap up the Vikings’ scoring.
The Sailors, seeded second in the Division 4 bracket, were able to pass the ball well and put up some big plays when needed, Muir said.
“They threw the ball well and they made some big plays in the passing game,” Muir said. “They had a couple of receivers that were really, really talented. Those guys did a good job. They got some big plays on us and once they kind of had us down, it was tough to kind of get back on them.”
Sailors senior quarterback Colton Joseph amounted for four total touchdowns in the game.
Muir made sure to thank his seniors for battling through the season to get into the playoffs, as well as their efforts for their entire careers.
“I think it’s the smallest senior class in the history of Valencia football,” Muir said. “We had 14 seniors, but they fought all the way through to the end and did a good job in terms of just kept battling and represented the program well.”
The Vikings will now start preparations for next season, including some additions from the JV team that went 10-0 this season.
“We’re definitely young, no question about it,” Muir said. “We had a lot of young guys that did well, performed well. A lot of our kids this year – other than a couple of key guys – a lot of juniors and sophomores got a lot of experience this year. So there’ll be a lot of kids coming back for next year.”