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    El Modena football too strong for El Dorado in North Hills clash
    • October 21, 2023

    PLACENTIA — The El Modena football team is clicking at the right time.

    The Vanguards posted their most impressive win of the season Friday night, rolling to a 38-10 victory against El Dorado in a North Hills League game at Valencia High.

    Quarterback Xzavior Guess led the charge, completing 27 of 33 passes for 365 yards and two touchdowns. Guess rushed for two other scores.

    Brodie Hitchens contributed 118 rushing yards on 14 carries and a touchdown, and Deron Taylor and Troy Parker each had over 100 yards receiving for El Modena (5-4, 2-0), which can clinch an outright league title with a win against Canyon next week.

    Defensively, the Vanguards limited the Golden Hawks (4-5, 1-1 ) to one touchdown while intercepting three second-half passes.

    “We’re clicking and executing well on both sides of the ball,” El Modena coach Matt Mitchell said. “We’re hitting our stride at the right time.”

    El Modena received the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards on seven plays, taking a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard run by Hitchens. Christian Tafua set up the score with receptions of 23 and 12 yards.

    After stopping El Dorado on downs, the Vanguards quickly capitalized. Hitchens ran 45 yards to the 5-yard line and Guess weaved into the end zone on the next play for a 14-0 lead.

    The Golden Hawks had to convert a fourth-and-5 on their next possession to keep the drive alive and they later settled for a 27-yard field goal by Devin Coleman to cut the lead to 14-3 with 57 seconds left in the first quarter.

    El Dorado then forced a three-and-out by El Modena, got the ball back near midfield and scored on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Nate Bento to Vincent Tapia, trimming the deficit to 14-10 with 10:25 remaining in the first half.

    That was as close as the Golden Hawks would get, however.

    The Vanguards followed with an 11-play, 76-yard drive that was capped by Guess’s 2-yard touchdown run that extended the lead to 21-10 with 6:28 left in the half.

    El Modena appeared to add to the lead when Guess scored on a 11-yard run with 1:17 left in the half, but the Vanguards were penalized for holding and unsportsmanlike conduct, backing them up to the 35 and they ultimately had to punt.

    After intercepting a pass on El Dorado’s opening drive of the second half, the Vanguards had another touchdown called back on a penalty, but they didn’t let those points slips away, as Guess found Tafua for a 22-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 28-10 with 8:18 left in the third quarter.

    The Vanguards quickly got the ball back and Guess continued to have plenty of time to scour the field and find open receivers. He hit Taylor over the middle for a 33-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-10 with 3:47 remaining in the third.

    “The corners kept on bailing, leaving the hitches that we kept on running wide open,” Guess said. “Might as well keep taking that and not forcing nothing, so we just kept taking what they were giving us.”

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    ​ Orange County Register