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Hart, Valencia miss finals

Indians, Vikings eliminated in the semifinals of COC passing tournament

Posted: July 1, 2009 9:13 p.m.
Updated: July 2, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Hart and Valencia each fell in the semifinals of the 2009 College of the Canyons/Hart 7 on 7 Passing Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Cougar Stadium.

Alemany won the tournament by defeating Westlake 8-6 in the championship.

Despite the outcome, Hart head coach Mike Herrington said it was all about the chance to play.

“You want to get out and compete,” he said. “You know which guys want to compete. If they compete now, chances are they’ll compete in the fall.”

At the passing tournament, teams line up on a short field with seven players per side, and they receive six points for a touchdown and two points for an interception.

The 12-team tournament was divided into two conferences, the Blue Conference and the Yellow Conference, which played Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

The top two teams from each day, which turned out to be Hart, Valencia, Alemany and Westlake, earned byes in Wednesday’s championship bracket.

The Indians opened Wednesday by beating San Fernando 32-12, their second lopsided victory over the Tigers in the tournament.

In the semifinals, however, Hart lost to Westlake 26-24 in a game that turned on an interception thrown by quarterback C.J. Reyes. It was one of the few mistakes Reyes made in an otherwise impressive tournament.

The two teams were evenly matched, and the interception gave Westlake the two points that ultimately decided the game.

“We didn’t play good defense all day,” Herrington said. “Then we started pressing on offense. The key was the interception, but C.J. made a lot of good decisions.”

Valencia struggled in its first game but pulled out a 28-24 victory over Crescenta Valley.

The Falcons play a slower game that emphasizes ball control, which translates roughly in a passing tournament. When it’s working, Crescenta Valley hit short passes and allowed its athletes to gain yards after the catch.

Down 24-20, the Vikings defense came up big when Rocky Maldonado broke up a pass that floated in the air and was intercepted by Tanner Richards.

On the next series, Vikings quarterback Alex Bishop hit Nick Moss on a deep crossing route for a touchdown that put Valencia ahead for good.

The Vikings fell behind early in the semifinals and lost to eventual champion Alemany 24-14.

“The level of competition is good,” said Valencia head coach Larry Muir. “Playing teams that are well-coached, that’s good for us. You want teams that will expose anything you aren’t doing.”


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