The Fountain Valley High and Artesia football teams were swinging haymakers in their nonleague matchup Friday night, but it was the Barons who packed the bigger punch in winning 49-33.
After Fountain Valley entered halftime up 21-13, the host Pioneers scored 13 unanswered in the third quarter.
What followed was a flurry of scoring from both teams in the fourth quarter’s opening minutes.
Fountain Valley would retake their lead 14 seconds into the quarter on a 10-yard pass from senior quarterback Nick Welch to senior receiver Dylan Swenson and go on to succeed on a two-point conversion.
Thirty seconds later, Artesia running back Travys Davis broke free and scored on an 82-yard run to hand the Pioneers back the lead at 33-29 with 11:16 remaining in the game.
On the proceeding kickoff, Fountain Valley’s Kishaun Sykes returned it for 90 yards for a score to again tilt the lead to the Barons’ favor.
It was Artesia that ran out of fourth-quarter magic as it turned the ball over on a failed hook-and-ladder play with 10:08 left to play that gave the ball to the Barons at their own 30-yard line.
Fountain Valley running back Benn Vallier followed by scoring from 30 yards out for his second touchdown of the game, giving his team control for the remainder of the night.
“I’m very impressed with our perseverance,” Fountain Valley coach Jimmy Nolan said. “I’m really impressed in their maturity and ability to not hang their heads when faced with penalties, turnovers and the big plays that Artesia made.”
The Pioneers managed to get in the red zone during the next drive, but the Fountain Valley defense picked off Artesia quarterback Heder Gladden to seal the victory.
Fountain Valley ends its nonleague slate at 4-1 — matching its best start since 2014. Artesia drops to 2-2 after consecutive losses.
“That was an impressive outing for Artesia,” Nolan said. “I take my hat off to their coaches and their kids for never giving up. I thought that both teams won as far as effort goes and as a head coach you could really appreciate [their effort].”
The Barons will have a bye week before starting Sunset League play Oct. 6 against Marina.
Fountain Valley 49, Artesia 33
Fountain Valley …………... 9 12 0 28 — 49
Artesia………………………….6 7 13 7 — 33
FV – Vallier 2 YD run (Swain kick), 9:19.
Artesia – Gladden 1 YD run (Burgos miss kick), 5:27.
FV – Artesia Safety, 2:09.
FV – Welch 3 YD run (Swain kick blocked), 9:42.
Artesia – Davis 5 YD run (Ramos kick), 7:30.
FV – Welch 2 YD run (2PT conversion failed), 5:38.
Artesia – Davis 8 YD run (2PT conversion failed), 5:51.
Artesia – Yoakum 6 YD run (Ramos kick), 2:33.
FV – Welch 10 YD pass (2PT conversion is good), 11:46.
Artesia – Davis 82 YD run (Ramos kick), 11:16.
FV – Sykes 90 YD kick return (2PT conversion failed), 11:00.
FV – Vallier 30 YD run (2PT conversion successful), 9:59.
FV – Vallier 45 YD run (Swain kick no good), 2:22.
Fountain Valley – Vallier, 17-216, 3 TD.
Artesia – Gladden , 18-134, 1 TD.
Fountain Valley – Welch, 11-18, 111, 1 TD.
Artesia – Gladden, 4-11, 72. 1 INT.
Fountain Valley – Vallier, 2-43.
Artesia – Yoakum, 2-50.
JUAN CARLOS GONZALEZ is a contributor to Times Community News: Follow him on Twitter: @JGonzalezSports