Canyon, Valencia each provide highlights during scrimmage

PLACENTIA – The football coaches for Canyon and Valencia were both reluctant to praise their teams after a scrimmage Friday night at Valencia High. Instead, they both chose to focus on the work that is needed before their first official games of the 2017 season.

“We have some good players, but we have a ways to go,” Canyon coach Mike Ogas said. “We only have a week left, but we have some work to do.”

The practice game provided highlights for key players on both sides.

Canyon tight end Christian Downey grabbed the first touchdown pass during the second quarter. He slid across the back of the end zone after quarterback Jacob Munro faked a hand-off and rolled left to dish out a strike.

Downey (6-5, 205) figures to be a key target for first-year starter Munro, according to Ogas.

Early in the contest, Canyon running back Josh Tarango gained 30 yards on a run to push his team into scoring range. But Valencia’s defense stopped the drive at that point, and Canyon missed a 43-yard field goal.

Valencia’s first offensive score came in the second quarter when its running back pushed the ball across the goal line behind a heavy offensive push.

Later in the second quarter, Valencia scored its second touchdown on a lofted pass to the corner of the end zone.

The offensive line for Valencia provided a strong push for a short touchdown run, which was the last score of the game.

The teams played two 12-minute quarters. Sacks were stopped before the quarterback could be hit. And there was no tackling on special teams.

After the two-quarter practice game, both teams received 12 and 6 offensive plays on two drives.

“I’m sure we made plenty of mistakes,” Valencia coach Jason Gray said. “But this is a practice situation.”

Canyon opens the season at Huntington Beach on Friday, Aug. 25, while Valencia will be at Capistrano Valley that same night.

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