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Week 8 High School Football Preview: Fountain Valley vs. Huntington Beach

Week 8 High School Football Preview: Fountain Valley vs. Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach High's Brady Gardner throws a short pass for a first down against Long Beach Wilson on Aug. 31. The Oilers' starting quarterback is expected to return from a left knee sprain when Huntington Beach takes on Fountain Valley on Friday. (Drew A. Kelley)

When/where: 7 p.m. Friday at Huntington Beach High

Key Barons: Jr. QB Josh Stupin (113 of 209 passing for 1,627 yards, 14 TDs, and six INTs; two rushing TDs); Sr. WR Kishaun Sykes (24 catches for 497 yards and six TDs; 18 carries for 221 yards and two TDs); Sr. WR Brandon Krause (47 catches for 632 yards and five TDs)

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Key Oilers: Sr. RB/SS Arick McLawyer (110 carries for 652 yards and five TDs; 14 tackles); Sr. WR/CB Jeremiah Flanagan (25 catches for 525 yards and nine TDs; 16 tackles); Jr. TE/OLB Christian Moore (17 catches for 238 yards and five TDs; 44 tackles, eight tackles for loss); Sr. MLB John Gosney (50 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 10 sacks)

Breakdown: Following a 20-14 loss at the hands of Edison last week, Huntington Beach coach Brett Brown says that morale remains high. The Oilers dropped to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the Sunset League, but both of its losses have come in one-possession games … The Oilers, ranked 10th in the CIF Southern Section Division 6 poll, have additional cause to be optimistic. Starting quarterback Brady Gardner is back at practice and expected to play on Friday. Brown anticipates that Brandon Cannella, who filled in for Gardner while he recovered from a knee sprain, will also play against the Barons. The Oilers’ quarterbacks should look for Moore, a red-zone threat who has heated up with touchdowns in each of his last three games … Fountain Valley (4-3, 0-2) began the season with a four-game winning streak, but the Barons have had their struggles defensively in their last three contests. Over that span, the Barons have allowed an average of 51.7 points per game. The last two losses, however, came to Los Alamitos and Corona del Mar, the two teams battling for first place in the Sunset League on Friday at Cerritos College … Fountain Valley enters as the ninth-ranked team in Division 8, but another loss could make the Barons’ climb insurmountable in the hunt for a top-three spot in the league.

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