Valencia stays undefeated, beats Santa Barbara, 45-18 

Cornerback Jordan Cardenas (37) and linebacker Sam Gieser (4) attempt tackle Bishop Amat's running back, Ryan Salcedo (8). Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

Vikings grab four interceptions, return one for a touchdown 

The Valencia Vikings enjoyed their long trip up to Santa Barbara on Friday, shutting out the Dons (1-1) in the second half en route to a 45-18 victory. 

The Vikings (2-0) grabbed four interceptions on the night, including one that came all the way back for a pick-six. That was courtesy of senior Luke Cruz, who put the Vikings up by 17 in the fourth quarter. 

The Vikings also saw senior Sam Gieser pick off two passes, while senior Jordan Cardenas added one. 

“I thought our defense did a really good job of closing the game out,” Valencia head coach Larry Muir said. 

Santa Barbara made a game of it in the first half, leading up until late in the second quarter. The Vikings tacked on two late scores to make it 28-18 at the half. 

Valencia senior quarterback Jackson Askins threw for three touchdowns in the first half, one to senior Deandre Kermah, another to junior Nick Seymour and another to Cruz. 

Valencia’s other quarterback, sophomore Brady Bretthauer, ran the ball in for another Vikings’ score. 

It was all Valencia in the second half, with three of the four interceptions coming in the fourth quarter, including Cruz’s pick-six. Bretthauer added a second rushing touchdown, while kicker Joseph Monti hit a field goal. 

“The defense did a great job in the second half of coming up with some really big third down and fourth-down stops,” Muir said. 

Muir was pleased with how his team responded in the second half, keeping the Dons off the scoreboard. 

“Santa Barbara did a good job of kind of getting to the ball a little bit, and then we kind of settled down. Once we settled down, our offense made some nice plays. It was a good physical game.” 

Valencia will return to the Santa Clarita Valley for its next game, set to be against Murrieta Mesa at Canyon High School on Thursday at 7 p.m. 

Santa Barbara will stay home and host Pacifica next Friday at 7 p.m. 

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