Jaguars score late to beat the Patriots

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Anyone looking at Friday's final football score in favor of Valencia, 35-22 over Miyamura, would think that it was an easy win for the Jaguars in front of their Homecoming crowd.

But the key in the Jags' win came early in the fourth quarter, when Valencia stopped Miyamura from completing a two-point conversion by sacking Adner Palma in the backfield to keep the score tied at 22-all. The game was close until Valencia's final touchdown put it away at the 1:45 mark of the fourth quarter.

With the Jags' second straight win, Valencia is 2-0 in District 6-4A and 2-5 overall. Miyamura falls to 2-5 and 0-2 in district.

Valencia travels to Grants (4-3, 1-1) Friday night to face a Pirate team coming off a humiliating 50-0 loss to Los Lunas. Grants beat Miyamura 36-18 in their district opener.

Against Miyamura, sophomore running back Josh Burbank led the attack with 208 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns. Quarterback Anthony Gonzales ran for 84 yards on 14 carries, scored on a 50-yard touchdown run and completed 2-of-8 passes for four yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Miyamura started the game with an impressive 13-play, 80-yard drive in the first 5:46 of the game.

Patriot quarterback Zach Shank hit 6-for-6 passing for 40 yards and it looked like the Jags did not have an answer on defense. The touchdown came on Shank's six-yard pass to Aaron Saucedo.

But Burbank provided an answer on offense. His 44-yard touchdown jaunt tied the score after the two-point run by Trase Peperas at 8-8 with 30 seconds left in the first quarter.

Gonzales' run put the Jaguars up 15-8 at the half.

Valencia struck first and moved out to a comfortable lead when D. J. Heybourne hauled in a four-yard pass from Gonzales. Caleb Crum hit the extra point kick and the Jags were up 22-8.

But Miyamura then drove the length of the field, and Shank ran the ball in from the one-yard line. The two-point pass made it 22-16.

Miyamura tied it when Saucedo scored a seven-yard touchdown run. The stands roared when Joe Heneghan broke through and tackled Palma right as he caught the pitch to keep the score knotted at 22.

The Jaguars then banked on Burbank in the next drive as the sophomore scored on a 22-yard run to put Valencia ahead 28-22. Crum's extra point was good and Valencia led 29-22 with 5:45 left in the game.

The Patriots looked like the team that took the opening kick for an easy scoring drive. Starting from their own 23-yard line, Miyamura drove the ball near midfield.

Shank dropped back to pass and Santiago Ibuado closed on the intended receiver at the Jags' 45-yard line, snared the ball off of the receiver's hands and raced to the 9-yard line.

Burbank took it to the house off-tackle on the next play to give the Jags a 35-22 win with 1:45 left in the contest.

Valencia rolled up 346 yards on the ground to Miyamura's 201. Shank was 13-of-22 for 147 yards, but the Jag defense picked him off three times.


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.