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LINEMAN QUESTIONABLE FOR VALENCIA.

Byline: GERRY GITTELSON Community Sports

Valencia High starting offensive lineman Ryan Bleeker could miss the Southern Section Div. II championship football game against Mission Viejo at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Angel Stadium because he's recovering from a foot injury.

Bleeker, a 6-foot, 270-pound senior, didn't play in the team's semifinal victory over San Clemente last week after cutting his foot on a screw on the locker room floor. Travis Quale started in his place.

The good news is the stitches on Bleeker's foot have been removed and he is expected to return to practice today.

``We'll just have to wait and see if Ryan's healthy, but Travis Quale did a nice job last week,'' coach Brian Stiman said. ``Someone who is injured doesn't lose his starting position on this team. But if Ryan can't start Saturday, hopefully he'll at least be available.''

--Mission Viejo's Mark Sanchez, considered by some the nation's most physically gifted quarterback, has received a lot of attention this season - deserved so because he committed early to USC.

But perhaps the player Valencia must watch for is junior running back Chane Moline, who has rushed for 1,757 yards (9.0 avg.), caught 21 passes and scored 35 touchdowns.

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Moline is among California's most powerful high school backs. He rushed for 234 yards and three touchdowns in a quarterfinal victory over Hart two weeks ago in a performance that left little doubt about who was the most dominating player on the field.

``We've got to gang tackle him and swarm to the ball,'' Valencia linebacker Torrey O'Brien said. ``We can't tackle him one-on-one.''

How do you simulate a running back like Moline in practice?

``You can't. There's nothing you can do,'' Stiman said. ``But our philosophy has always been that it takes more than one person to take someone down. We're going to send as many guys as possible at (Moline), and if the defensive guys are clicking, it could make it tough for him.

``You've got to swarm. With big backs, it's just hard to bring them down with one person.''

--Lost in the hoopla of Valencia qualifying for the championship game was an incredible play by punter Brian Malette against San Clemente. The senior recovered a snap that sailed over his head, then managed to punt the ball on the run with two defenders bearing down on him.

``That was definitely the play of the game. It had to be one of the top 10 plays I've ever seen,'' Stiman said. ``I had no idea that Brian had the ability to do something like that. The amazing thing was he didn't even miss a beat after running down the football. We looked at the film, and he actually kicked that ball 49 yards from the point of the kick. It was amazing.''

--Valencia sophomore Shane Vereen, who has scored 30 touchdowns, isn't the only family member enjoying a great football season. His 12-year-old brother, Brock, scored both touchdowns for the undefeated Santa Clarita Warriors in a 14-8 victory over Ventura in a youth football championship game last week.

--Don MacNeil, a seven-year Canyon High football assistant, won't be coming back.

``I'm hanging it up. I've been coaching a long time, and it's time for me to go,'' said MacNeil, 46.

Two of MacNeil's sons, Colin and Sean, played at Canyon.

``It's going to be nice just to watch games from the stands without the pressure of coaching,'' MacNeil said.

CAPTION(S):

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Valencia sophomore running back Shane Vereen has scored 30 touchdowns this season.

John McCoy/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 8, 2004
Words:599
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