Seven TDs for Valentino in 51-12 romp
CALIFORNIA -- California Trojans' football coach Joe Kuhns has often said he has run out of things to say about Donte Valentino.
After Valentino's seven-touchdown performance in Friday's 51-12 pasting of Leechburg (1-1), Kuhns shook his head in disbelief.
"I didn't even know he had that many touchdowns (until being told)," Kuhns said in amazement. "That is impressive.
"That's very impressive."
Valentino scored on touchdown runs of 42, 11, 67 and 49 yards, threw touchdown passes of 33 yards to Brandon Rossi and 22 yards to Wade Stinnett, and returned a punt 78 yards for a score.
Being a team player, Valentino was quick to deflect credit for his performance, which included 213 yards rushing on 13 carries.
"The middle was open so we took it," Valentino said. "The line is tough and they did a good job.
"They played pretty hard. Leechburg was trying to take the outside away from us, so we went up the middle."
For the game, Valentino finished with 332 yards of total offense.
Kuhns mirrored his star's opinion on Leechburg.
"We were taking what they gave us," Kuhns said. "Obviously they have to shut him down because he is the quarterback and he has speed.
"He saw openings in the middle and took it."
Freshman Devante Brooks scored California's last touchdown when he scampered in from 42 yards out.
Kuhns is aware of the talent that Brooks has.
"Devante will be a fine successor to Dante."
Brooks recorded one of California's four interceptions, along with Rossi, Joel Wallace, and Stinnett.
The Trojans also recovered a fumble and sacked Leechburg quarterback Tommy Phillips four times.
With the win in the books, Kuhns was quick to turn his attention to Beth-Center, the Trojans' (2-0) neighboring rival.
"It is a cross-town rivalry and the team knows about it," Kuhns said. "They had four first downs on us last year but beat us."
Valentino left that game at halftime with an injury, but vows the Trojans will be ready.
"We will come strong, for sure," he said. "We have to get better as a team, and we will be ready for Beth-Center."
NOTES: California outrushed Leechburg 354-78 ... The Stephen Medeus and Devin McFall scored the guests' touchdowns ... Medeus led Leechburg with 62 yards on 15 carries.