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Villa Park storms past Yorba Linda with third-quarter burst
YORBA LINDA – Once Villa Park made its move Friday, the Spartans left no doubt who rules the Crestview League.
Nick Sipe and John Stamos led a 21-point third-quarter outburst that powered Villa Park to a 49-21 victory at Yorba Linda that clinched at least a share of the league title.
Villa Park (8-1, 2-0) led at halftime, 14-7, but Sipe and Stamos – a pair of Division 1-A commits – delivered big plays to push the Spartans to their 13th consecutive overall league victory.
Yorba Linda (7-2, 1-1) responded with a pair of quick touchdowns by Mason Winter early in the fourth but Villa Park, ranked sixth in Division 3, finished with a flurry.
Shane Darsow did his best imitation of Stamos with a 40-yard TD run and sophomore Dylan Bonilla, in his first start at cornerback, returned an interception 41 yards for another score.
“At the beginning of the year, we said a league title was expected,” said Stamos, a Navy commit who rushed for two of his three touchdowns in the third quarter.
“They (Yorba Linda) gave us a lot of motivation, making us their homecoming. … They kind of disrespected us, so we definitely took that to heart and played a lot harder than usual.”
Villa Park opened the second half with an 82-yard scoring drive that Stamos capped with a tackle-busting 12-yard TD run.
Sipe, a Purdue commit, then tossed a 40-yard TD strike to Bonilla before Stamos showed his speed and agility, cutting back en route to a 65-yard TD run that made it 35-7.
“I really thought our first half was great (too),” said Villa Park coach Dusan Ancich, whose team plays Foothill next week. “We had the big touchdown called back (by a penalty). We had another big play called back. I was very proud of our team. … We didn’t get mentally rattled.”
Stamos rushed for 143 yards on 19 carries while Sipe completed 24 of 32 passes for 339 yards. Matt Roach made 11 receptions for 135 yards, and Bonilla added seven catches for 115 yards.
Jaydyn Webb rushed for 114 for Yorba Linda, which will play Canyon (4-5, 1-1) next week for potentially second place and a playoff spot.
Mustangs coach Jeff Bailey called Canyon a must-win game for his team, ranked fourth in Division 8.
"In my mind, yeah," he said. "I don't want to put it (our playoff berth) in the hands of anybody else. ... We're going to do our darnest to try and get a win next week."
Villa Park led, 14-7, at halftime after a 1-yard TD run by Stamos with 16 seconds left.
The run capped a wild, 71-yard scoring drive in the final 3:16. Stamos broke a long run inside the Mustangs’ 10 but the gain was negated by a holding penalty.
Sipe helped the Spartans shrug off the penalty by converting a third-and-11 pass to Andrew Talavera for a 17-yard gain to the Yorba Linda 17. Sipe later converted a fourth-and-7 to keep the drive alive. He scrambled to his left before completing a 26-yard pass to Paul Valle to the 8 with 33 seconds left in the half, setting the stage for Stamos’ run.
Sipe finished the first half 15 of 21 for 194 yards. He tossed a 9-yard TD to Roach to cap an 85-yard march on the Spartans’ first possession.
Yorba Linda rising sophomore safety Ricky Lane later grabbed a deflection for his fifth interception but the Mustangs couldn’t turn the lone turnover of the first half into points.
Yorba Linda opened the game with a seven-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 3-yard TD run by Webb. Fellow junior Jonah Slack sparked the possession by taking a receiver handoff 48 yards to the Villa Park 20.
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