CANYON COUNTRY, Calif., – Standard California high school football playoffs involve having each division send three schools to the playoffs, four if you’re lucky. This year’s CIF Southern Section Northern Division bracket had four Foothill League teams – Valencia, Hart, Canyon, and Saugus – enter the playoffs. A Canyon High upset in the first round has been the only loss by a foothill league team in the playoffs this year.
Now entering the semi-finals, a Foothill League matchup between Valencia and Saugus was the only thing preventing each from a Finals berth. Due to a Hart coin flip decision on home field over West Torrance, Saugus had to play their “home” game at Henry Walsh Stadium at Canyon High School.
Saugus did make it difficult at times though as the team would seem to blitz all night on quarterback Jake Wallace. Wallace, who had suffered a mild concussion the week before, was benched as a precautionary measure, per team coaches.
It didn’t take much time in the second half to forget that he was benched though. trailing 26-0 in the third, Hamilton completed a pass to receiver Tim Kahovech, who was immediately ran over by Viking Jay Jay Wilson. Kahovech remained motionless for a minute or so before nodding to the coaching staff around him that he was conscious.
The hit caused immediate uproar from the Saugus sidelines and even some from the Valencia side. Players started to run on the field, but referees and coaches from both teams pushed back what could have been chaos. Overall six flags and a Wilson ejection were called.
Wilson had been penalized for both unsportsmanlike conduct and targeting with a head to head contact tackle. The targeting foul and the ejection on Wilson add up to a suspension of playing in the championship game against rival Hart High School.
Valencia had other stars step up in the game, including an 80- yard screen pass to Stone Jackson for a touchdown. Valencia receiver Nick Jones also converted a 4th and 4 into a touchdown, as well as pick off Hamilton in the third quarter to stop Saugus’ early momentum after the Wilson hit.
Valencia will host the Hart Indians on December 6th at Valencia High School at 7 PM