Huntington Beach tops Fountain Valley, 23-6


HUNTINGTON BEACH – Luck wasn’t the sole reason Huntington Beach beat Fountain Valley 23-6 in a Sunset League matchup Friday night, but it certainly didn’t hurt to have a little bit of good fortune going its way.

Scoring opportunities were begat by botched snaps and unlikely conversions, and there were enough self-inflicted penalties that the alumni in town for homecoming must have wondered how awful practice on Saturday might be.

In the game’s first 18 minutes Huntington Beach gained just 34 yards and punted four times, while Fountain Valley gained just one first down.

But with the Oilers defense playing as stout as it was, something was bound to happen, and something did. Jonah Apelu pounced on a fumbled snap, granting the Oilers (3-3, 1-0) a short field, just 26 yards to gain. Even then, the drive required a conversion on fourth-and-11 and a blooper-reel touchdown in which quarterback Nick Welch fumbled in the end zone before teammate Sean Welsh recovered it.

On the Oilers’ next possession, Welch again found Welsh on fourth down, turning a fourth-and-6 into a 13-yard score to put the Oilers up, 16-0.

The defense, too, would find a way, any way, to make it work. Late in the second quarter, Fountain Valley (1-5, 0-1) had driven down to the Huntington 2-yard-line – before false starting twice and fumbling, heading into the half scoreless.

The second half, while no piece of aesthetic beauty either, featured a significant uptick in conventional football.

Fountain Valley quarterback Garrett Horn was able to establish a connection with receiver Kishaun Sykes, hooking up four times for 80 yards in the second half.

But Welch completed his final four passes for 63 yards and a game-sealing 24-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Flanagan.

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