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Manfro gives Grizzlies too much to handle

Valencia running back puts up five first-half touchdowns in rout

Posted: October 23, 2009 10:37 p.m.
Updated: October 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The biggest play of the night didn’t even count.

No matter, Valencia football did the expected and defeated Golden Valley 49-0 at Valencia High on Friday night.

Vikings junior running back Steven Manfro scored five touchdowns in the game, ran for 150 yards on 18 carries and caught three passes for 103 yards.

But it was his touchdown that was called back early in the first quarter due to a Vikings’ penalty that would have been the most spectacular highlight in a night of highlights.

After Manfro’s 29-yard touchdown run put the Vikings up 7-0 with 10 minutes to play in the opening frame, the running back again attacked the Grizzlies’ defense on the following drive.

From his own 29-yard line, he took a handoff from quarterback Alex Bishop and split the porous Grizzly defensive line, then broke outside for a 71-yard touchdown run.

Yet a holding penalty negated the effort.

“It was a pretty good run,” said Manfro, who topped the 100-yard rushing mark for the sixth time this season. “Penalties, we get rid of them, we’re a better team.”

The penalty was about the only thing that went wrong for the Vikings (7-0, 2-0) in the first half.

By halftime, Valencia was up 42-0.

Manfro scored on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Bishop late in the first quarter, then Valencia scored four more touchdowns in the second quarter.

Manfro scored the first three on touchdown runs of 8, 15 and 5 yards.

Then Bishop found wide receiver Zach Tartabull with three minutes to play in the first half for a 30-yard touchdown.

Bishop was 10-of-13 in the game for 242 yards — 207 of which came in the first half.
Tartabull caught four passes for 89 yards.

“(Manfro’s) dimension with Bishop and Tartabull, we want to be as balanced as possible,” said Valencia head coach Larry Muir. “It’s been a big emphasis for us.”

Defensively, the Vikings allowed the Grizzlies (0-7, 0-2) to net only one yard of offense in the first half on 19 plays.

Golden Valley managed to get into Vikings’ territory only once in the game and that didn’t come until early in the fourth quarter.

“One word — pride,” is what Golden Valley head coach Andy Campbell said he told his players at halftime.

In some ways, the Grizzlies responded.

Valencia scored once in the second half — a 5-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Alex Guerra with 2:23 to play in the game.

Golden Valley’s Junior Brown had a pair of 34-yard kickoff returns in the game and knocked down a third-down pass inside the Golden Valley 10-yard line late in the third quarter that prevented the Vikings from scoring.

“We stayed focused and fought to the end,” Brown said.

Golden Valley brought up six sophomores, who all started, for the game.

Making the biggest impact was running back Jeff Coprich.

Though he was unable to make much of an impact in the first half, Coprich got going in the second.

He had runs of 16 and 22 yards and finished the game with 45 yards on 13 carries.

The Grizzlies, though, had 53 yards of total offense in the game.

The Vikings had 459.

“(This game) gets us prepared for Hart next week,” Manfro said.

The Vikings will play Hart next week in a game that could determine the eventual Foothill League champion.

Both teams go in with 2-0 league records and thus far have shown that they are the cream of the Foothill crop.



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