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KYUSUNG GONG, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Fountain Valley's Chad Olberding, center, celebrates his touchdown with George Sykes, left, on Thursday night.

Fountain Valley season keeps getting better

STAFF WRITER

LONG BEACH – Fountain Valley posed for a team picture with its cheerleaders and danced on the field at Veterans Stadium on Thursday.

Two games into the Sunset League and three years into the tenure of Coach Ray Fenton, the Barons have reason to celebrate.

Quarterback Chad Olberding rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown, Moe Falealii added 91 yards and Fountain Valley forced three turnovers en route to a 20-7 victory against Los Alamitos.

Related: Postgame Talk - How Fountain Valley controlled Los Al

Related: Trinity League podcast 

Fountain Valley (5-2, 2-0) won its fifth consecutive game and added a convincing victory against the Griffins (2-5, 0-2) to its triumph last week against Newport Harbor, its first against the Sailors since 2008.

“We’re a pretty good football team right now,” Fenton said. “We got a great group of kids who really believe in each other and it shows every day at practice.”

The Barons’ belief showed against on Los Alamitos’ homecoming night. They never trailed, didn’t commit a turnover and shut out the Griffins in the second half.

“Here we are, 1-0, we haven’t beaten Newport in forever and now we have the Griffins,” Fenton said. “They’re struggling and have a little bit of a doubt and we have some confidence. This opportunity we (had) tonight is something you don’t get very often, so let's make the most of it and our kids did.”

Los Alamitos coach John Barnes dubbed the game the “Super Bowl” for his team, which has now dropped five consecutive games.

“Our focus (since) Monday was on-point and it showed,” said Fountain Valley defensive tackle Keiti Iakopo, who had two sacks to raise his season total to nine. “I just knew if we all went in and played 100 percent, we were going to get this W guaranteed. … Homecoming hunters.”

Fountain Valley led, 14-7, at halftime but drove on its first possession of the third quarter from its 26 for a 30-yard field goal by Ben Filipek. The drive chewed up 6:01.

Early in the fourth, Filipek added a 29-yard field goal for a 20-7 lead after an interception by Kent Swift late in the third quarter. The Barons chewed up 5:26 of the clock before the kick by Filipek with 8:49 left.

Swift later recovered a fumble and Trae Davis intercepted another pass in the closing seconds.

Olberding and running back George Sykes scored touchdowns in the first half for Fountain Valley.

Olberding scored the only touchdown of the second quarter on a 5-yard run on third-and-goal with 9:09 left. The senior set up his score with 68 yard run to the 12, with a horse-collar penalty on the tackle moving the ball to the 6.

Sykes capped Fountain Valley’s second possession with a 10-yard touchdown run that gave the Barons a 7-0 lead with 5:13 left in the first quarter. The Barons marched 64 yards on 10 plays and received a break when Iakopo, playing fullback, dove on a fumble at the Los Alamitos 10. Sykes burst up the middle into the end zone on the next play.

Fountain Valley, picked by league coaches to finish fourth, rushed for 318 yards. Sykers added 68 on 10 carries while Falealii had 91 on 21 carries.

"I think we did more than out-physical them, we out game-planned them," Iakopo said.

Los Alamitos responded on its next possession with a 37-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jack Telenko to Dylan Laurent with 1:14 left in the first quarter. The fourth-and-12 play came out of a timeout and capped a 78-yard scoring drive.

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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