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Valencia football needs help, but could also claim share

Posted: November 13, 2008 10:52 p.m.
Updated: November 14, 2008 4:55 a.m.

At this point, making it to the postseason is a long shot for Canyon.

The last playoff spot in the Foothill League will likely go to Hart.

A Canyon win and a Hart (4-5, 2-2) loss to Golden Valley would secure a spot for the Cowboys (5-4, 2-2), but it's unlikely that the Indians will drop their last regular season game to a league-winless Grizzlies team.

But stranger things have happened.

In Canyon's last game of the regular season, the team will face Saugus - the league's only undefeated team - tonight at 7:30 p.m. at College of the Canyons.

Canyon head coach Chris Varner said that there were a couple of distractions in the early part of the season that threw the team back.

One of those was the return of running back Antonio Bray. However, Bray did not see time with the Cowboys this season being ruled ineligible after transferring back to Canyon after one year with Alemany.

Injuries, the loss of key players on defense and lack of experience in certain areas also served as setbacks for the Cowboys. Varner is focused on rebuilding a stronger more competitive team.

"We have two very successful lower-level teams that are coming up," he said. "We're going to look to revamp the offense and the defense."

And despite the prospect of not making a playoff appearance for the second straight season, Varner is still satisfied with his team's progress.

"I think we've made a lot of improvements from week one," he said. "The maturation of the kids is really good and they have worked hard. They have big hearts and have really battled."

Varner said it's no secret what they need to do to get a victory over the Centurions tonight.

"Stop two and five," he said referring to quarterback Desi Rodriguez and running back Ryan Zirbel.

Canyon's strength all season has been its powerful offensive corps, led by quarterback Jordan Adamczyk, the league's passing leader.

"He's done great and is by far the best quarterback in terms of just passing," Varner said of Adamczyk.

Adamczyk, who only played in two games last season for the Cowboys, has been a force for the team all year by racking up 2,333 passing yards.

"It's a tribute to his work ethic. He worked hard in the offseason and earned every bit of it and he's only going to get better." Varner said.

And tonight, Varner said he's going to stick with the same game plan that he's had all season - rely on his offense to try to get things done.

"If our offense is as productive as they have been, we have a chance at getting a win," he said.

West Ranch vs. Valencia
Valencia's only hopes of capturing another Foothill League title rests in the hands of Canyon. Should Saugus (6-3, 4-0) lose to the Cowboys, the Vikings (7-2, 3-1) will have a share of the title.

But first the Vikings will face West Ranch (2-7, 1-3) at 7 p.m. today at Dr. Paul A. Priesz Stadium.

And aside from the what if's, the Vikings are in the postseason.

Valencia finished its 2007 campaign in the league's No. 3 spot. At the start of the 2008 season, with a new quarterback at the helm and an offense and defense made up predominately of juniors, head coach Larry Muir had the challenge of developing his team into league-title contenders once again.

The Vikings were on a roll at the start of the season. A loss to Saugus last Friday put a halt to Valencia's seven-game winning streak, though.

But West Ranch can also spoil the Vikings' chances at another title.

The Wildcats showed improvement in their matchup against Hart last Friday and were five points away from getting their first win over the Indians.

After entering league action on a four-game losing streak, West Ranch rebounded with a win over Golden Valley and for the most part has continued to show progress.

Hart vs. Golden Valley
Tonight's matchup against Hart will be bittersweet for Golden Valley head coach Steve Pinkston.

When the Grizzlies (3-6, 0-4) face the Indians at Harry Welch Stadium tonight at 7 p.m., Pinkston will look down the field one last time at group of graduating seniors he has coached since he first took over the program three seasons ago.

"This has been a very special year for us," Pinkston said. "It's been a good three years with those kids. We went through a lot that first year and we've just gotten better every year."

Pinkston took over the program in 2006 when the team first entered the formidable Foothill League.

And as its 2008 campaign comes to a close, Pinkston is determined to end on a high-note.

"We want to get a win," Pinkston said. "We just have to play the best game of the season and have something go our way."


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