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MICHAEL GOULDING, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Fountain Valley's Chad Olberding scores the game winning touchdown in the second half at Huntington Beach High on Thursday.

Olberding picks right option for Fountain Valley

STAFF WRITER

HUNTINGTON BEACH – The beauty of the option offense stems from its deceptive nature – forcing defenses to guess who’s carrying the ball and who’s carrying air.

While he made the right reads and got the ball to his running mates throughout the evening, there was no way Fountain Valley quarterback Chad Olberding was calling anyone else’s number in crunch time on Thursday night.

The Barons senior quarterback rushed for the go-ahead score with less than five minutes remaining in the contest, and iced the game minutes later with a third-and-long conversion, sealing Fountain Valley’s 31-24 win over Trabuco Hills at Huntington Beach High in a nonleague game.

Olberding finished with 167 yards rushing on 30 carries, scoring on runs of 6 and 15 yards for the Barons’ (1-2) first victory of the season.

“It’s good to get a win against a great program like Trabuco Hills,” Fountain Valley coach Ray Fenton said after the game. “We have a great group of kids. We really do. I brag about them all the time, and it’s evident tonight when we faced so much adversity.

“Even when we gave up the lead late in the game, they stayed after it.”

The Barons led by 13 points at two different points, with the second double-digit advantage coming after a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive opened the second half. Olberding’s 6-yard keeper put Fountain Valley ahead, 23-10.

Chad Crosbie’s 8-yard touchdown run minutes later combined with Campbell Conway’s 38-yard receiving touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter gave the Mustangs (0-3) their first lead of the game, 24-23.

As he had done throughout the night, Olberding guided the Barons offense on a 6-play, 70-yard scoring drive. After selling the handoff, the senior scampered 15 yards into the end zone for the decisive score, and the two-point conversion.

The Barons rushed for 446 yards and four touchdowns as a team, with junior Moe Falealii leading the pack with 179 yards.

Facing a third-and-7 with 1:01 left and the ball in his own territory, Olberding’s 11-yard gain for the first was enough to seal the deal for the host Barons.

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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