After an agonizing two years of losses, the Valencia Vikings football team achieved a Foothill League championship by defeating the Indians on Friday. The game showcased the exceptional skills of Valencia quarterback Jackson Askins, who led the team to a resounding 37-7 victory. Askins was instrumental in Valencia’s impressive 34 unanswered points, finishing the game with 277 passing yards, 93 rushing yards, four touchdowns, and a completion rate of 13-for-18. The Vikings’ defense also deserves recognition, with four interceptions and one sack. Senior Luke Cruz had a standout performance with two interceptions and three catches for 71 yards. The team’s triumph was tempered by the unfortunate injury suffered by Jayboe Wilson, who returned to the field after missing six games only to be taken off in an ambulance after colliding with Hart’s Parker Maxwell. Despite this setback, the Vikings rallied and played with renewed determination to secure the victory. The opening drive yielded a field goal by kicker Joseph Monti, and despite three turnovers by Hart in the first half, they managed to score a touchdown to briefly narrow the gap. However, another interception by Cruz set up Valencia’s first touchdown drive and ignited their impressive 34-point streak. Big plays through the air, including a spectacular catch by Nick Seymour, helped the Vikings extend their lead. Askins orchestrated another quick touchdown drive, culminating in a 33-yard rushing score. Cruz’s second interception set up yet another Valencia touchdown, with Askins connecting with Deandre Kermah for a 50-yard touchdown pass. The Vikings continued their dominance in the second half, with Askins adding a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brian Bonner and Gabe Magdaleno sealing the game with a 9-yard rushing score. Hart’s Tim Larkins and Shawn Irwin, who had been instrumental for their team throughout the season, were held off the score sheet and limited to just four completions for 53 yards. The victory held special significance for the Valencia seniors, who had been unable to defeat Hart at the varsity level in previous years. With at least a share of the Foothill League title secured, Valencia aims to clinch the outright championship and an undefeated season in league play in their upcoming game against Canyon. This triumph for the Vikings represents the restoration of Valencia football and the fulfillment of their hard work and dedication.
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