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Call it Loyola curse for Valencia football

Vikings lose to Cubs for fourth straight time

Posted: October 4, 2013 10:43 p.m.
Updated: October 4, 2013 10:43 p.m.
Valencia loses to Cubs for fourth straight time. Valencia loses to Cubs for fourth straight time.
Valencia loses to Cubs for fourth straight time.

VALLEY GLEN — The Loyola Cubs may have dominated time of possession, but it was a span of just 32 seconds that decided their game with the Valencia Vikings on Friday night at Los Angeles Valley College.

Valencia fumbled the kickoff after Loyola had regained the lead late in the third quarter, and Cubs running back Nico Evans punched in his fourth of five rushing touchdowns on the night in an eventual 39-20 victory.

“The turnovers,” said Valencia head coach Larry Muir of what decided the game. “We turned the ball over three times. The game was still in the balance and the defense kept getting stuck on the field.”

That was particularly true in the first half, as Loyola (3-3) held the ball for 16 minutes and 16 seconds of the first half, compared to just 6:44 for Valencia.

The Vikings (3-2) ended up controlling the ball for only 16:06 of the 48-minute contest.

Still, Valencia was in the game.

After Loyola opened the game with a 16-play, 8:08 drive that culminated in a 1-yard touchdown run by Evans, Valencia rebounded to pull within 7-6 by halftime after a missed extra point.

Both offenses began to move the ball effectively during the second half, but Evans proved nearly impossible to stop.

The senior running back finished with five touchdowns on 28 carries for 167 yards.

“Our running game is great. We’re a pound team. If we fight, then it wears the defense down,” Evans said. “I’m feeling great. My line played well, executed. They had a hell of a game.”

The Vikings, though, hung around, until the game changed on the fumbled kickoff.

After Valencia took a 20-19 lead, its only lead of the game, on a 78-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Wallace to wide receiver Nick Jones with 4:59 left in the third, the Cubs marched right down the field and regained the lead 25-20 on a 50-yard pass from quarterback Tre Polamalu to wideout Mekai Sheffie.

Valencia fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Loyola scored on a two-play, 20-second drive, and the Cubs never looked back.

Evans would add another touchdown with 6:12 remaining to set the final score.

Wallace attempted to keep the Vikings in the game midway through the fourth, moving the ball 54 yards into Loyola territory, before an interception inside the 20 effectively sealed things.

“I feel like we took a step forward offensively,” Wallace said. “We were right there with them.”

Wallace finished the game 15–of-25 passing for 241 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and he added 51 yards on the ground.

Loyola’s Polamalu went 7-for-14 for 102 yards and a touchdown.


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