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CANOGA PARK — Running back Corie Ruell led the Canoga Park football to sole possession of first place in the Valley Mission League with a 47-33 victory over Kennedy.
Ruell carried the ball 30 times for 387 yards and scored three touchdowns to help break the tie for first place in the league with Kennedy.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, you know, baby steps, we looked good but we can do a lot better,” said Canoga Park coach David Perez.
Ruell’s first score came on Canoga Park’s second possession on a 72-yard run to tie the game 7-7 in the first quarter. Steven Garcia had scored on a 48-yard run on Kennedy’s first play from scrimmage to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead.
“I thought I did pretty good, made a couple little mistakes, a couple fumbles, but I thought about it and kept trusting my linemen and kept trusting my teammates,” said Ruell.
Oscar Barboza and quarterback Chris Vasquez each also had rushing touchdowns in the first half to give Canoga a 20-7 lead before Ruell extended the lead to 27-7 with a 3-yard rushing touchdown.
Kennedy running back Gabriel Argott scored his lone touchdown of the night on a 1-yard touchdown run to cut the Canoga lead to 27-14 going into halftime.
On Canoga Park’s first possession in the second half, Vasquez would score for the second time on a 6-yard run to give Canoga a 34-14 lead. Vasquez finished the game with nine carries for 41 yards and two touchdowns.
Barboza finished the game for Canoga Park with nine carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Ruell’s third and final touchdown of the game came in the fourth quarter on a 45-yard touchdown run to give Canoga a 47-26 lead.
Garcia kept Kennedy in the game in the second half with two rushing touchdowns and a 46-yard touchdown pass to Rogelio Ledezma to cut the Canoga lead to two scores in the middle of the fourth quarter. It ended up being too little too late for Garcia and Kennedy as they did not have the firepower or the strength at the line of scrimmage to stop Ruell and Canoga Park.
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Garcia finished the game for Kennedy with eight carries for 138 yards and three rushing touchdowns and completed 7 of 14 passes for 67 yards and a touchdown and an interception. Argott finished with 20 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown for Kennedy.
Canoga Park moves to 4-4 and 4-0 in league play and will travel to take on Van Nuys next week. Kennedy falls to 4-4 and 2-1 in league play and will take on Sylmar next week.