MOORPARK – Same story, different conclusion.
After losing to Moorpark the last two seasons to end their season, the Valencia Vikings dominated the Musketeers 40-21 on their own turf.
With the Vikings ahead 33-21 late in the fourth quarter, the defense stepped up and held the Musketeers on fourth and goal to end Moorpark’s chances of a come back. Valencia’s running back Steven Manfro hammered the nail in the coffin with an 87-yard touchdown run on the very next play on offense for the Vikings.
Manfro had one of the biggest games ever in playoff history for the Santa Clarita Valley as he ran for 346 yards on 28 carries with one touchdown.
Valencia came out strong as quarterback Alex Bishop found Matt Nyberg who carried 3 defenders into the end zone with him for a 50-yard touchdown reception. Bishop came right back to Nyberg on the very next offense drive for a 28-yard touchdown. The senior had four catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns all of which came in the first quarter.
Valencia struggled all night on kickoff coverage. Moorpark got on the board with an 85-yard kick return for a touchdown by Jace Foster. Valencia would add another score late in the first quarter on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Bishop to Jake Reed. Valencia missed the extra point but had a commanding 20-7 lead at the end of the first frame.
The Musketeers came roaring back to take the lead at half time thanks to two touchdown passes from Grant Rohach. The first for 8 yards to Jerry Shumway and the next that gave the Moorpark the 21-20 lead was to Cheldon West for 27 yards.
The Vikings first drive of the second half ended up being the most important drive of the game. On third-and-2 from the Valencia, Manfro broke three tackles for a 38-yard run. Then on third-and-11 from the Moorpark 47 yard line, Bishop ran for 35 yards. Those two plays set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Bishop. Valencia took a 26-21 lead after failing on the two point attempt.
Valencia leaving it all out on the field decided to go with an onside kick and would recover it. That set up an 11-yard strike from Bishop to Max Rodriguez. The senior with a big touchdown after a costly fumble in the first half that set up Moorpark’s go ahead touchdown before the end of the half.
Bishop completed 18 of his 25 passes for 272 yards and four touchdowns.
Valencia will travel to Oaks Christian next week the number one seeded team in the CIF Southern Section playoffs. Oaks Christian defeated Thousand Oaks Friday night 54-37.
Canyon high school lost to St. Bonaventure Friday night 45-21 ending the Cowboys season.