Valley Christian spent much of this season on the wrong side of heartbreaking results. Saturday night, San Jose State-bound Ryan Severson made sure the Warriors would not suffer one more in the opening round of the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs.
Severson had four long touchdown runs, returned a punt 76 yards for a score and also had a 39-yard interception return — all in the first half -- as third-seeded Valley Christian cruised to a 56-14 victory over visiting Burlingame.
Valley Christian (5-6) advanced to play No. 2 seed Sobrato in the semifinals next weekend.
Severson scored on runs of 32, 34, 70 and 50 yards, finishing with 196 yards rushing in just six carries.
"We worked really hard this week, and Coach wanted to make sure we played our best and I wanted to make sure we played our best in the playoffs," Severson said. "Every time I got the ball, I wanted to score a touchdown, and I tried my very best to make that happen."
Kirk Johnson added two more touchdowns for Valley Christian, on runs of 4 and 18 yards. VALLEY CHRISTIAN 56, BURLINGAME 14
Burlingame 0 "14 "0 "0--14
Valley Christian 21 "21
VC -- Severson 32 run (Kroenig kick)
VC -- Severson 34 run (Kroenig kick)
VC -- Severson 76 punt return (Kroenig kick)
VC -- Severson 70 run (Kroenig kick)
B -- Palu 11 run (Martinez kick)
B -- Palu 45 run (Martinez kick)
VC -- Severson 50 run (Kroenig kick)
VC -- Johnson 4 run (Kroenig kick)
VC -- Quinby 14 run (Kroenig kick)
Records -- Burlingame 5-6; Valley Christian 5-6.
Sacred Heart Prep 48, Pacific Grove 15: Sacred Heart Prep landed in the Division IV semifinals by cruising to a decisive victory over visiting Pacific Grove (7-4). The Gators will face Soquel (9-2) at home next weekend.
Sacred Heart Prep (10-1) took to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter on scoring runs by senior Ryan Gaertner (3 yards), junior Andrew Segre (21 yards), and senior quarterback Kevin Donahoe (4 yards).
They finished with 386 rushing yards with Segre racking up 115 yards on 14 carries. Five players carried the ball.
"We don't count on one guy and this causes problems for defenses as they don't know who is going to carry the ball," said Sacred Heart Prep coach Peter Lavorato.
This became evident on the second drive of the third quarter, as the Gators starting using their younger players. Sophomores Matt O'Dell and Andrew Robinson scored their first varsity touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
With 4:44 left in the third quarter, the Breakers put their first points on the board after a fumble recovery by Dean Randall. Jason Leach ran 39 yards for touchdown and in the fourth quarter Kevin Teskey caught an 83-yard touchdown pass from Luke Lowell.
"We had a lot of injuries last week after our game with Carmel," said Pacific Grove coach Chris Morgan. "We moved a lot of young guys up and they played admirably. -- PJ Brown, correspondent SACRED HEART PREP 48, PACIFIC GROVE 15
Pacific Grove 0 "0 "8 " 7--15
Sacred Heart Prep 21 "7 "6 "14--48
SHP -- Gaertner 3 run (Spillane kick)
SHP -- Segre 21 run (Spillane kick)
SHP -- Donahoe 4 run (Spillane kick)
SHP -- Donahoe 21 run (Spillane kick)
SHP -- Segre 2 run (kick blocked)
PG -- Leach 39 run (Selbicky run)
SHP -- O'Dell 7 run (Spillane kick)
PG -- Teskey 83 pass from Lowell (Brown kick)
SHP -- Robinson 5 run (Spilliane kick)
Records -- Pacific Grove 7-4; Sacred Heart Prep 10-1.
For first-round results and second-round schedule go to Page 7.