Bolsa Grande High School has been characterized by its slow starts this season, and nothing was different Friday night as the Matadors scored 21 straight points in the second half to defeat Garden Grove, 42-14, in Bolsa Grande Stadium at Garden Grove.
The Matadors (3-0, 6-1) amassed 331 yards rushing, but only held a 21-14 lead late in the third quarter in the Garden Grove League contest.
"When we were ahead by seven points, I went 'oh, oh,' but we're at a point where we feel confident and play better when a game's close," Bolsa Grande Coach Greg Shadid said. "We're slow starters, but once we get going we all right."
Garden Grove (2-1, 2-6) was still within reach of an upset after Henry Fournier intercepted a Damon Fisher pass and returned it 31 yards for touchdown on the first play of the second half.
But Bolsa Grande wasted little time in striking back, driving 41 yards in 9 plays and scoring on Ricky Lepule's 6-yard run.
There was little suspense following the touchdown as Bolsa Grande used the big play to put the game out of reach.
On their next possession, Matador running back Shannon Valdez capped a quick, 50-yard drive by running 21 yards through several Garden Grove defenders to increase the lead to 35-14 with 7:42 remaining.
The Matadors saved their best score for last as Fisher ran 84 yards down the right sideline on a quarterback keeper for the 42-14 final.
Despite 173 yards in penalties, Bolsa Grande's conservative game plan overpowered Garden Grove. Valdez gained 101 yards in 9 carries, Travin Lui and Fisher gained 88 and 81 yards, respectively. Lepule, a starter, gained just 39 yards after straining his right knee on his first rushing attempt.
"We a little bigger team and thought we might wear them down, but we just like to run the ball," Shadid said.
Fisher threw only 6 passes, completing 2 for 34 yards.