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Foothill comes up with winning combination
HUNTINGTON BEACH - Foothill used well-rounded contributions from its emerging standouts to derail No. 14 Fountain Valley, 28-14, on Friday in a season-opening game for both teams at Huntington Beach High.
The No. 21 Knights also received steady play from returning starting quarterback Jack Gilchrist. The senior threw two touchdowns and ran for two others to help lead Foothill, which reached the Southwest Division semifinalists last season.
"Great win for the Knights," Foothill coach Doug Case said. "We're going to move forward. Obviously, we've got some tough opponents coming up.
"I thought we had a great camp this year. The kids have been responding to what we've been teaching them. They did a great job tonight. It obviously showed."
Twin brothers Jullian and Jarrell Moss — both wide receivers/defensive backs — excelled as new featured players for Foothill.
Jullian Moss caused and recovered a fumble in one of the biggest plays of the game and had an interception with 52 seconds in the fourth quarter at the Foothill 2.
Jarrell Moss finished with six receptions for 136 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown for the first score.
Foothill never trailed but the score was tied early in the fourth. Fountain Valley's Wyatt Christensen caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chris d'Entremont (277 yards) just 14 seconds into the fourth period to lock the score, 14-14. It was the duo's second TD connection of the game.
The Knights responded with a swift 60-yard scoring drive that Gilchrist capped with an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bobby Okereke, who gave Foothill a 21-14 lead with 8:12 left. Jarrell Moss gave the Knights good field position for the possession by returning the kickoff 29 yards.
Later in the fourth, Foothill defensive back Devlin Boland intercepted a pass at the Fountain Valley 42 and returned it 31 yards. Gilchrist scored two plays later on a 2-yard touchdown with 2:32 left as the Knights took a 28-14.
Gilchrist passed for 176 yards, ran for 35 and guided an offense that didn't commit a turnover.
"We graduated a lot of fine athletes (last year) but we've got a lot of fine athletes in the wings that participated last year," Case said. "We just have to keep battling."
Senior Sean Pihl was another Foothill newcomer who contributed. He rushed for a game-high 68 yards, kicked four extra points and also booted a 62-yard punt in one of his several kicks that gave Fountain Valley challenging field position.
Foothill's defense also forced three turnovers.
"I'm hoping this is a humbling experience for us," Fountain Valley coach John Shipp said. "Our guys are confident but tonight, the better team won. They executed a little better than we did."
Foothill opened a 7-0 lead in the first quarter as Gilchrist tossed a 57-yard touchdown to Jarrell Moss with 2:31 left.
defender and stayed on his feet for the score.
Fountain Valley almost responded on the ensuing possession. The Barons used a 42-yard reception by Jason Baker early in the second quarter to move to the Knights 7 but on the next play Jullian Moss striped the ballcarrier for a fumble recovery.
Fountain Valley tied the score, 7-7, just before halftime as Christensen caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from d'Entremont with 31 seconds in the second.
But Foothill marched 64 yards for a score on its first possession of the third period to take the lead. Gilchrist scored on a 6-yard touchdown run on a possession sparked by a 31-yard reception by Jarrell Moss.
Jullian Moss said Friday's victory would give the Knights "a lot of energy" for next week's rivalry game at Tustin. The Tillers edged Foothill, 21-20, in the Southwest semifinals last season.
Fountain Valley plays at Dana Hills next week.