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Chaves runs for 155 yards to carry Villa Park past Troy
ORANGE – Villa Park was thinner than usual at running back and linebacker Friday night, so Ramon Chaves put the Spartans on both shoulders and led them to a 48-19 victory over Troy in a Southwest Division first-round game at El Modena High.
Chaves seemed to get stronger as the game wore on, rushing for 110 of his 155 yards in the second half to help Villa Park pull away. The Spartans will meet Valencia next Friday at El Modena.
“He’s getting in his groove,” Villa Park coach Dusan Ancich said of Chaves, a 6-1, 215-pound senior. “He’s feeling a little faster in practice and healthy for the first time and it’s noticeable.”
Chaves was forced to carry a heavier load because fellow linebacker/running back John Stamos missed the game with a leg injury. Chaves averaged 11.5 carries through his first nine games but carried the ball 18 times against Troy.
“Ramon took that challenge on,” Ancich said.
The Indians (5-6) cut an early deficit to 21-13 just before halftime and received the second half kickoff, but couldn’t earn a first down. The Spartans then drove down the field and Chaves scored the second of his three touchdowns on a 20-yard run to extend the lead to 28-13.
Villa Park (11-0) then forced its second turnover of the second half when Khalil Wilson intercepted a pass in the end zone. The Spartans capitalized as Chaves ran 25 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 35-13 with 9:37 left.
Chaves also scored on the opening drive of the game as Villa Park went 73 yards in 14 carries before Chaves barreled over from the 1.
The Spartans made it 14-0 before Troy found its footing and cut the lead in half on a 1-yard run by Draytwoine Shaw.