Valencia rolls to victory with big first half – Daily News


NEWBURY PARK — On its first offensive play, Valencia scored on a 1-yard touchdown by Moises Haynes. Its second play? A 23-yard touchdown catch by Mykael Wright.

Valencia’s fourth play? Zachary Semko, scoring on a 35-yard touchdown catch.

It may have Newbury Park’s homecoming night Friday, but Valencia brought the fireworks with a dominant first half en route to a 48-7 nonleague win.

Valencia led 48-0 at halftime and in only 27 plays, the damage was done by the time both teams headed to locker rooms.

“That was definitely a top-three first half we’ve played since I’ve been here,” Wright said.

Haynes finished with three rushing touchdowns and Connor Downs passed for four touchdowns before they and most of the Valencia starters sat the second half.

Wright added a second touchdown on a 32-yard catch after Valencia (3-0) recovered a short kickoff. Even with the win and scoring 153 points in its first three games, Valencia was far from satisfied.

“It was good but it can always be better,” Haynes said. “Kohler [Shockley’s] interception set the tempo for the whole game.”

Shockley, starting in place of injured Jayvuan Wilson, intercepted Newbury Park’s Cameron Rising on the game’s opening series and returned it to the 1-yard line, setting up Haynes’ first score.

It was one of three Valencia interceptions, and although Shockley said he was nervous his first two games, he was ready to step up with Wilson out.

“I was also focused all week and we watched a ton of film,” Shockley said.” I was waiting for that play, read his eyes and broke for it.”

On the ensuing kickoff, Ryu Minami recovered a fumble that led to Wright’s first touchdown. Zion Dunson added a 58-yard touchdown catch to make it 28-0 with 4:35 in the first quarter.

Newbury Park came in shorthanded with injuries to wide receiver Ian Alabeck, who missed his second consecutive game, and running back Josh Madison among others. The Panthers’ offense had trouble finding much rhythm.

Rising passed for 102 yards and ran for 40 yards, but after Valencia led 41-0 with 4:23 in the second quarter, he was replaced by Braden Handy. Handy threw two interceptions in the second half to Jack Velek and Jorden Betsch.

With a running clock in the fourth quarter, Newbury Park (2-2) eventually scored on a 3-yard run by Cameron Brown.

“Coming off the week we had after losing to Westlake, you want to compete,” Newbury Park coach Jason Klein said. “At times we did but we didn’t do it enough. I thought we did much better in the second half.”

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