Central Conference : Pallares Sets Record as Valencia Rolls, 35-0
Ray Pallares became the Southern Section’s all-time career rushing leader Friday night in Valencia High School’s 35-0 victory over Norwalk in the first round of the Central Conference playoffs.
Pallares, a 5-foot 11-inch, 188-pound senior, set the mark with a 55-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter, surpassing the record of 5,213 yards set by Craig Johnson of Whittier Christian from 1973-75.
The fullback went over left tackle, cut to his left and raced down the left sideline on his record-breaking run in front of 3,000 in Placentia’s Bradford Stadium. He finished with 167 yards in 21 carries and scored four touchdowns. He has scored 24 touchdowns this season.
Pallares has 5,265 career yards. Cal-Hi Sports magazine of San Jose says the total is a state record. Cal-Hi Sports editor Mark Tennis said that the former record of 5,217 was held by Tyreese Knox of Daily City’s Jefferson High. Knox set the mark in 1983.
The victory improved Valencia’s record to 9-2 and moved it into the second round against Saddleback at a site to be determined. Norwalk finished at 5-5-1.
The atmosphere was different Friday from that five weeks ago when Pallares broke former Santa Ana Valley star Myron White’s Orange County record. There were no, “Run Baby Ray, Run” buttons, towels or T-shirts on sale proclaiming his exploits.
When Pallares broke the Section mark, there was a short announcement, and the fans stood in recognition.
The task at hand was for the Tigers to accomplish something they have failed to do in Pallares’ remarkable three-year career--win the conference championship.
Valencia has come close the past two years, advancing to the semifinal game. This year’s team appears to have the offense and defense to reach the final. The Tigers looked strong in the first half against Norwalk, gaining 211 yards while limiting the Lancers to 12.
Norwalk knew it was in for a long night the day it was announced the Lancers would be meeting a county team in the first round. Norwalk had been outscored, 119-16, in three playoff games against county schools over the past three years.
Pallares had 88 yards rushing and two touchdowns at halftime, and the only sense of excitement among the crowd was the anticipation of a record-breaking run. Pallares didn’t disappoint, and continued to pile up yardage in the third quarter as Valencia opened a 35-0 lead.