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High Schools / SOUTHLAND FOOTBALL REWIND

No One Counted on Angels

October 28, 2002|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

It was written into the contract that if the Angels reached the World Series, there would be no high school football game played over the weekend at Edison Field.

"At the time," Huntington Beach Edison football Coach Dave White said, "we thought the odds of that happening weren't very good."

But the wild-card Angels beat the New York Yankees, then the Minnesota Twins, and the scheduled game on Friday between rivals Edison and Fountain Valley had to be moved to Orange Coast College. No one could have known that each team would go into the game with a 2-4 record, but why schedule the game at Edison Field in the first place?

The "Battle for the Bell" features one of the top rivalries in Southern California. The schools began playing the game at Orange Coast in 1973, then moved it to Edison Field (then Anaheim Stadium) from 1976-86 before returning to Orange Coast, where it annually sells out the 7,500-seat facility.

"After our game last year, Orange Coast [officials] said the game was getting too big, [said] there were too many security problems, and told both schools they needed to look elsewhere," said White, whose team lost to Long Beach Poly in last season's Southern Section Division I championship game.

"After the Angels beat the Yankees, we started talking about alternative plans," he said.

Orange Coast officials agreed to be host of the game again but with stipulations: The schools were limited to 7,500 tickets, which were to be sold beforehand on campus only, and the stadium's entry gates were to be closed at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. game.

Edison sold 2,800 tickets and Fountain Valley 3,200 before game day. Fountain Valley Athletic Director Mike Henigan appealed to common sense -- empty seats inside and fans unable to enter from the outside could ignite its own security issues -- and Orange Coast officials used good judgment and allowed ticket sales at the site.

"The last couple of years, fire marshals shut [ticket sales] down and there was some trouble outside the gate," Henigan said. "The next couple of years, our game is after the World Series is over, so we shouldn't have problems getting Edison Field."

More than 8,000 fans watched Fountain Valley beat Edison, 28-16. It was Barons' third consecutive victory after an 0-4 start, but the Chargers still lead the series, 20-13-1.

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Temecula Chaparral and Temecula Valley have a ways to go to match the rivalry of Edison-Fountain Valley, but they do play for the Mayor's Trophy.

This season's edition of the four-year-old rivalry was a close one. Blaine Smith, who had kicked field goals of 36 and 47 yards for Temecula Valley, missed a 49-yarder with 28 seconds remaining and Chaparral won, 14-13, for its first victory of the series.

Afterward, Chaparral Coach Dennis Amador called it the biggest victory in his school's six-year history.

Last year Chaparral missed a field goal to tie the game with seven seconds left and the year before lost in triple overtime.

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To change their fortunes after an upset loss to Rialto Eisenhower, many Redlands players decided to switch jerseys for their game at Fontana Miller.

Instead of wearing their regular uniform numbers, the Terriers threw jerseys into a pile and randomly pulled out new ones. One catch: No one told Miller officials, who operated under the assumption that the numbers provided for their printed game program were correct.

"I kept looking for No. 5 [Rocky McBroom] and didn't see him," said Miller Coach John Tyree, who had no idea it was McBroom who scored a 15-yard touchdown run during Redlands' 30-7 victory.

"It's funny business, but we have no complaints because we lost," said Tyree, who was more than gracious. "As bad as we played, it wouldn't have mattered if they were playing in pink uniforms."

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A prank before the San Fernando-Sylmar game backfired in a big way when the Tigers were beaten by the Spartans, 42-14. It was the worst loss in the 41-year history between the schools, and there was plenty of back story.

Earlier in the week, walls on the Sylmar campus were spray-painted with graffiti in San Fernando's school colors, and dog feces was left on the Senior Rock. A $200 reward has been offered leading to an arrest of the vandals.

Sylmar's football team, going for its fourth consecutive league title, took out its anger on the field, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter to open a 21-14 lead in front of a capacity crowd at San Fernando.

Ryen Carew rushed for 190 yards and scored two touchdowns for Sylmar, which is 5-2 overall, 2-0 in the Valley Mission Conference. San Fernando is 3-4, 0-2.

Sylmar's previous largest margin of victory in the series was 31-6 in 1999.

"The whole thing about this game is it's more than a game, they're playing for their neighborhood," Sylmar Coach Jeff Engilman said. "They all grew up together. A few years ago, my right guard went against their left tackle, and they were brothers. It's the Valley version of Roosevelt-Garfield."

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Bill Craven, coach at Garden Grove Pacifica, is one victory from 200 after his team's 45-14 win over Garden Grove Santiago improved his record to 199-88-8.

Only Los Alamitos Coach John Barnes and a former coach, Dick Hill, have more victories among Orange County coaches. Barnes tied Hill at 212 with a victory over Anaheim Esperanza on Saturday night.

Craven's chances of winning No. 200 on Friday against Garden Grove Bolsa Grande are good. The Matadors are 1-51 since winning their first four games in 1997, and haven't won a game since 1999.

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