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Villa Park lets defense lead the way

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ORANGE - – Even when the offense has been start-and-stop this season, Villa Park’s defense has continued full speed ahead.

The Spartans remained consistent on that side of the ball Thursday night in a 34-14 victory over Esperanza at El Modena High, helping them finish 3-0 in Crestview League play and 10-0 overall, their first undefeated regular season since 2011.

The night started on a good note for the Aztecs, as Mitchell White intercepted a tipped pass from Brian Sipe on the opening possession, but it went downhill from there.

Esperanza (1-9, 0-3) committed a holding penalty on its first play from scrimmage and starting QB Treyden Buzzone, a freshman, was injured on the second and did not return. On the same play, Villa Park’s Curtis Westergard scooped up a fumble and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown.

The Spartans were unable to generate any points on their next two series, but the defense continued to thwart Esperanza, which will miss the playoffs for the third straight season.

Ramon Chaves got the Villa Park offense on the board with a 11-yard TD run with 10:41 left in the second quarter.

Villa Park was stopped on fourth down for the second time later in the quarter.

Sipe, who started 2 for 9 passing, began to find his rhythm late in the first half. He found Roach for a 27-yard score with 2:55 left before halftime and Jake Ruiz on another 27-yard toss with 55 seconds remaining, giving Sipe two second-quarter TD passes to put Villa Park in front, 27-0.


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