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ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL / PREP EXTRA : SUNSET LEAGUE : Fountain Valley Rallies After Blowing Big Lead

October 21, 1995|MICHAEL ITAGAKI | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

COSTA MESA — Just when it appeared Fountain Valley had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, Baron quarterback Mitch Ryerson and wide receiver Joey Vazquez came to the rescue.

After Fountain Valley blew a 21-point lead against arch-rival Edison, Vazquez caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ryerson with 19 seconds remaining to give the Barons, ranked seventh in the county, a 27-22 victory in a Sunset League game at Orange Coast College Friday in front of a near-capacity crowd of about 7,000.

The victory ended Edison's recent dominance in the series, and it sent the Fountain Valley fans into a frenzy as they flooded the field after the game to claim the "victory bell," which is awarded to the winner of the annual game. Edison had won five of the last six meetings.

Fountain Valley (6-1, 2-0 in league) wiped out a valiant comeback attempt by Edison (4-3, 0-2). After trailing, 21-0, at halftime, the Chargers closed to within, 21-20, on a four-yard touchdown run by Alex Forero, who rushed for 85 yards in 23 carries.

With only 2 minutes 43 seconds remaining, Edison went for the two-point conversion and Forero scored on a run over the left side to make it, 22-21.

Fountain Valley's game-winning drive began at its 33, and Edison's Andy Lambert, who had three sacks, put the Barons in a big hole. With 1:30 remaining, he sacked Ryerson for a six-yard loss, making it a fourth and 24 from the Fountain Valley 34.

Ryerson, who completed 16 of 26 passes for 197 yards, completed a 25-yard pass to Nic Puglisi with with 1:24 remaining to keep the drive alive. Kevin McCluskey caught passes of 25 and nine yards from Ryerson to move the Barons to the Edison seven to set up Vazquez's game-winning reception.

Vazquez, who had five receptions for 51 yards, also recovered a fumble in the end zone to give Fountain Valley a 21-0 lead in the second quarter.

Edison rallied with Brodie Riederich scoring on a five-yard run. Then Jeff Grady tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Boerner midway through the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 21-14.

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