Two-QB system works well for Villa Park in rout of Canyon

ORANGE – Villa Park continues to have an interesting situation with its quarterback rotation, but the No. 13 Spartans can’t complain about the by-products.

Sophomore transfer quarterback Shane Illingworth threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score in his first start, and senior quarterback Paul Piferi threw for 121 yards and two touchdowns as Villa Park struck early and often in a win over Canyon, 57-25, Saturday at El Modena High.

Villa Park (8-1, 2-0) clinched at least a share of its fifth consecutive Crestview League title. The Spartans finish the regular season playing for the outright league title against Yorba Linda on Friday, Nov. 3., at El Modena High.

Canyon (4-5, 0-2) closes its regular season hosting Foothill on Thursday, Nov. 2, at El Modena High.

Illingworth took the reigns first and made the first strike on Villa Park’s second drive. Illingworth found Dylan Bonilla up the middle, and Bonilla shook two tackles on a 72-yard touchdown.

Villa Park recovered a fumble on the ensuing short kick, and Piferi took over.

Piferi hit Anthony Hakai on a swing pass for a 16-yard touchdown. Defensive lineman Anthony Shipton converted the two-point conversion for a 15-point lead.

Piferi led the next drive and flipped the field on a 65-yard connection with Noah Peterson. Zech Holifield converted on a 1-yard touchdown run.

Canyon finally got something going to open the second quarter.

The Comanches were escorted down the field on Villa Park personal fouls, and Jacob Munro plunged in a 1-yard sneak for the score.

Villa Park immediately responded as Devon Gill took the ensuing kickoff down the Canyon sideline for a 93-yard touchdown.

On the next drive, Illingworth came back in and threw his second TD pass, a 12-yarder to Marcus Johnson for a 29-point lead.

Canyon’s next offensive play was picked off by Daniel Asiata and returned it 21 yards for the score.

Canyon got another touchdown on a 10-yard throw from Munro to Christian Downey.

Piferi got his second touchdown pass just before halftime on a 13-yard hook-up with Johnson.
Villa Park led at halftime, 50-14.

Illingworth ran 6 yards for the score midway through the third quarter.

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Villa Park scores in final seconds to pull out win over Redondo


REDONDO – Redondo High quarterback Jack Alexander was ready to take the blame for the Sea Hawks’ 28-21 nonleague loss to Villa Park on Friday night.

“I thought our offense could have picked up our defense more,” Alexander said. “If I was feeling healthier, we could have scored more.”

Alexander, who noted he felt like he was battling flu-like symptoms, gave everything he had.

With Redondo trailing, 21-13, with 2:52 to play, Alexander hit Markeece Alexander on a rollout-vertical route. After breaking the initial tackle, Markeece Alexander raced 66 yards for a touchdown.

“We knew the cornerback was sitting in the flat,” said Jack Alexander, who finished with 240 yards on 24 of 37 passing. “I hit (Markeece) quick and he just took off.”

Jack Alexander called his own number on the two-point conversion to tie the score at 21-21.

Villa Park (2-0) stormed back. Set up at its own 20, Villa Park marched 80 yards in 11 plays before Anthony Hakai (69 yards, 14 carries) plunged for a 1-yard score with 9.3 seconds left.

“We just stayed true to what we were trying to do (on the last drive),” Hakai said. “We pounded the ball and wore (Redondo) out.”

Villa Park jumped out to an 8-0 lead early in the first quarter when Paul Piferi hit a wide open Hunter Ancich for a 19-yard touchdown. Piferi racked up 234 yards on 12 of 19 passing.

Redondo (0-2) answered, as Jack Alexander capped a 68-yard, 14-play drive with a 1-yard sneak to make it an 8-6 game.

After Ancich picked up an 11-yard gain on the second play of the ensuing drive, he stayed on the turf with what appeared to be a lower leg injury before being taken off the field on a stretcher.

“We lost a lot of starters this week, and Hunter is a crucial player to what we’re able to do,” Hakai said. “We thought he was all we had coming in.”

Redondo took its lone lead of the game on the opening drive of the third quarter after Jack and Markeece Alexander (86 yards, 4 catches) hooked up for a 12-yard score to make it a 13-8 contest.

Redondo’s defense couldn’t hold Villa Park, as Piferi hit Dylan Bonilla (109 yards, five catches) in stride for a 51-yard touchdown to make it a 21-13 game.


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