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Valencia 49, Buena 22: Back to Viking form

Valencia will meet Moorpark in semifinals

Posted: November 27, 2009 11:40 p.m.
Updated: November 28, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Valencia running back Steven Manfro (33) runs for a touchdown against Buena at Buena High on Friday.  Valencia running back Steven Manfro (33) runs for a touchdown against Buena at Buena High on Friday. 
Valencia running back Steven Manfro (33) runs for a touchdown against Buena at Buena High on Friday. 

VENTURA - Hurry-up offense?

Try less than a minute.

Playoff pressure?

Valencia quarterback Alex Bishop seemed to feel none on Friday.

As Bishop dropped back to pass with time to spare in the pocket, he found a wide-open Brock Vereen from 35 yards out for a touchdown with 1:06 left in the first half.

It was the Vikings' fifth score before halftime, as they made short work of Buena of Ventura in a 49-22 rout at Buena High School in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs.

A sack by Vikings defensive end Darrol Mitchell with a little over two minutes in the second quarter set up the Vikings' possession that made it 35-7 at halftime.

"Our defense's motive, our goal, is to break the other team's will," said Mitchell, who has 22 sacks on the year, two shy of the Valencia school record held by Anthony Defilippo. "We do that by getting live, yelling at each other, getting in the backfield and being unsqueezable," he said.

It was emblematic of how the whole game went for the Vikings (12-0), with defensive pressure in Buena's backfield leading to opportunities for Valencia.

And the Vikings' offense was willing and eager to oblige.

"Our (offensive line) did a great job today protecting me and making holes for (Steven Manfro)," Bishop said. "There's nothing better than to be able to sit back there with as much time as you need to help you pick apart a defense."

That's exactly what he did.

Bishop was nearly flawless for the first 24 minutes, completing 12-of-14 passes for 286 yards and four touchdowns before the half.

He added a touchdown run and threw a 50-yard score to wide receiver Zach Tartabull in the second half before coming out of the game midway through the third quarter.

Bishop capped off the Vikings' first scoring drive with a 52-yard pass to Tartabull to give Valencia a 7-0 lead.

Valencia stopped Buena (9-3) on the next drive and then promptly marched down the field and scored again on a 2-yard run by Manfro that he fumbled in the end zone and then recovered himself, to give his team a 14-0 lead with three minutes left in the first.

Bulldog running back Kendrick Mathis managed an answer with a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7, but he would be the last Bulldog to get into the end zone until the fourth quarter when the game was almost over.

Meanwhile, Bishop found Vereen for their first touchdown connection that made it 21-7.

On the following drive, Buena quarterback Robert Munoz was sacked twice and threw an incomplete pass.

The Vikings followed that with a one-play drive - a 75-yard touchdown screen pass from Bishop to Manfro to put the Vikings up 28-7.

Buena had no answer.

"They put the pressure on us defensively and they put the pressure on us offensively," said Buena head coach Cliff Farrar. "They're just a fine football team. We thought we could do a better job of defending the pass, but we just didn't do a very good job of it."

And this time, the Vikings weren't letting anyone back into the game.

Valencia built a three-touchdown lead against Thousand Oaks last Friday, only to have it slip away gradually due to a furious fourth quarter by the Lancers.

Vikings defensive back/wide receiver Zach Tartabull secured his team's 28-27 win with an interception on Thousand Oaks' two-point try with 10 seconds to play.

This time, the Vikings rang up a dozen first downs in the second half, most on the ground, as the Vikings continued to control the game.

Manfro led the charge, ringing up 99 rushing yards on 13 carries and a score to go with two receptions for 109 yards and a receiving touchdown.

"We were trying to establish the run early and it wasn't working," Bishop said. "But we stuck with it and eventually our O-line got that going too."

Valencia head coach Larry Muir said he was much happier with his team's execution, despite two late Buena touchdowns in the waning minutes, which brought the score to 49-22.

"Our preparation was just much better this week. Our kids were more intense in practice and it showed out there on the field," Muir said. "I think our offensive and defensive lines were frustrated by their performance last week and they played much, much better tonight."

Valencia will play Moorpark at Valencia next Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the CIF-SS Northern Division playoffs.
Moorpark defeated Camarillo Friday night 49-7.

The other semifinal will pit St. Bonaventure against Westlake next Friday.

St. Bonaventure defeated Newbury Park 39-0 and Westlake beat Hueneme 54-24 in quarterfinal games also played on Friday.



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