YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Foothill Upsets No. 10 Villa Park


Coming off a two-victory season in 1999 and led by its third coach in four years, Foothill completed its rebound with a 14-7 victory over Villa Park, the 10th-ranked team in the county, in a Century League game Friday at Tustin High.

Foothill sophomore Mike Liti rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown in 31 carries and quarterback Derek Fitch scored on a three-yard bootleg with 29 seconds remaining to put the Knights ahead.

Then Matt Goto's interception of a desperation pass as time expired officially gave Foothill its first share of a league title since 1996.

"Foothill's back," said Knight Coach Doug Case, who came to the school after seven seasons at Rancho Alamitos.

"In my first year here, we wanted to get to the playoffs. But this win is huge, for the school, the community and the team."

The Knights (5-5, 4-1 in league) lost the coin flip for the playoff seedings and will be the league's No. 3-seeded team. Villa Park (9-1, 4-1), ranked third in the Southern Section Division VI poll this week, won the flip and will go as the league's No. 1-seeded team. El Modena (8-2, 4-1) is the No. 2 team since it defeated Foothill last week, 21-14.

But that didn't dampen the celebration.

"This is amazing," said Foothill sophomore Ryan Jenkins, who had two interceptions and a fumble recovery to lead a defense that forced five turnovers. Liti had two of Foothill's four sacks of Villa Park's John Henry Jackson, who completed 10 of 20 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown.

Jackson entered the game completing 60% of his passes for 1,743 yards, 17 touchdowns and three interceptions. Four of his passes were intercepted Friday.

Still, Villa Park took the momentum in the third quarter after Foothill led, 7-0, at halftime, thanks to a second-quarter 53-yard touchdown pass from Fitch to Liti.

With 3 minutes 58 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Villa Park turned a fumble recovery into a 44-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Dan Stegall to make it 7-7.

Then Ricky Campos stripped Liti of the ball on Foothill's next possession and Bryan Arguello recovered at the Spartan 20.

Arguello, who had five receptions for 99 yards, caught two passes to help the Spartans move to the Foothill 29. The drive ended when Jenkins intercepted a pass intended for Adam Stayberg in the end zone with 11 seconds left in the third quarter.

Villa Park ran only six plays from scrimmage in the fourth quarter, with its final four drives ending in turnovers.




League Overall School W L T W L T Villa Park 4 1 0 9 1 0 El Modena 4 1 0 8 2 0 Foothill 4 1 0 5 5 0 Canyon 2 3 0 5 5 0 Santa Ana Valley 1 4 0 4 6 0 Orange 0 5 0 0 10 0



Thursday's result

* El Modena 51, Orange 6

Friday's results

* Canyon 54, Santa Ana Valley 0

* Foothill 14, Villa Park 7

Los Angeles Times Articles