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Fountain Valley Takes Care of No. 1

The Barons, twice beaten in close games by highly regarded teams, knock off top-ranked Los Alamitos, 21-16, in a Sunset League game.

October 25, 2003|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

Fountain Valley had lost by one point to Mission Viejo, The Times' second-ranked team in the Southland, and by one touchdown to No. 14 Santa Margarita, but on Friday, the Barons finally landed the big one.

Taking advantage of seven turnovers and scoring three touchdowns in the second half, No. 17 Fountain Valley beat top-ranked Los Alamitos, 21-16, in a Sunset League game at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach.

It snapped a 19-game winning streak for the Griffins (6-1, 1-1 in league play), who were ranked No. 2 in the state.

"We didn't deserve to win," said Coach John Barnes, whose team won the Southern Section Division I title last year. "They made plays, we didn't make plays.

"Life goes on."

Life will be a little happier today for the Barons (5-2, 2-0), who scored 14 points in the third quarter and another seven in the fourth, then held on in the final 4 minutes 31 seconds as heavy fog enveloped the field.

It came right after Joshua Jones of Los Alamitos scored from one yard to make it 21-14.

On the ensuing kickoff, Fountain Valley's Bryan Reihm was tackled in the end zone for a safety, giving Los Alamitos a gift-wrapped opportunity to steal the victory.

On the punt, Chad Dunn's 26-yard return gave Los Alamitos the ball at the Fountain Valley 47; however, five plays later, Jones fumbled at the 30 and Bryan Schutte recovered with 2:25 left.

"This feels like a Super Bowl," said Kyle Feiler, who rushed eight times for 78 yards and scored touchdowns of 16 and six yards in the third quarter. "We were pumped up. We brought everything we could. We just don't like Los Al."

If the Barons were emotional, Los Alamitos was not -- something that has dogged the Griffins the last few games.

Ryan Best's interception ignited the third-quarter rally. He batted the ball to himself and returned it 10 yards to the Los Alamitos 32-yard line. From there it took four plays to score as Feiler -- a running back -- lined up at quarterback in the shotgun and ran a draw. John Asmussen kicked the extra point to make it 7-7.

The Barons got another big play on their next drive, catching Los Alamitos in a blitz to gain 52 yards on a screen play to Best. Three plays later, Feiler scored from six yards.

And in the fourth quarter, Kevin Gerard stepped in front of a Jimmy Barnes pass and returned it 57 yards for a 21-7 lead with 8:32 left.

"I knew [Jeremy] Childs is the receiver they want to go to," said Gerard, who had two of Fountain Valley's four interceptions.

"I told him he could get a lot of recognition if he shut down Childs," said Baron Coach Eric Johnson, who watched Childs catch only four passes for 31 yards. "I think he did."

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