It's Bell Game week, and nothing more needs to be said to the Edison and Fountain Valley high football teams.
Nothing seems to rev up the passions of both squads, their respective schools and communities, more than this game. It will be played for the 43rd time at 7 p.m. Friday at Orange Coast College before what figures to be yet another full house at LeBard Stadium.
"It's the one game students from both schools go to," Edison Coach Dave White said. "People paint themselves, have a lot of spirit, and it's a game where records don't matter. This game's all about the emotion, the hype."
Edison, the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division, comes into the showdown sporting an overall record of 7-1, including 3-0 in the Sunset League. The Chargers are seeking another league title and can earn a portion of it with a win against the Barons.
Fountain Valley, meanwhile, heads in at 3-5 and 0-3 in league. White isn't fooled by that record, and knows the Barons will put it all on the line Friday.
"All five of their losses were close games, games in which they led," said White, who attended his first Edison-Fountain Valley game as an eighth-grade student and has been involved with almost every Bell Game since, either as a player or coach.
"They are probably the best 3-5 team in Orange County and are a play or two away from being 8-0," he said. "They are really good and last year, they gave us a battle to the end. Like I said, records don't matter heading into this game."
Fountain Valley Coach John Shipp, who will be involved in his ninth Bell Game, agrees.
"This game brings about an all-new energy, and new level of play," he said. "Both teams are highly motivated and the game is it's own element when the teams come together. That's what makes it such a great rivalry."
Edison set several schools records last week — including most points scored in one half, largest halftime lead, most points scored in a single game and widest margin of victory — in a 78-0 defeat of Marina.
Senior quarterback Aleksander Torgersen (13 of 22, 263 yards) tied a school record for touchdown passes with five, all coming in a first half that ended with the Chargers on top, 62-0. Senior receiver Aaron Vargas had two touchdown receptions, senior running back Marquis Ross had a touchdown reception and rushed for a score and senior linebacker Trenton Aschoff and sophomore defensive back Jake Favreau both scored on fumble returns.
Tanner Wakeham, a senior receiver/defensive back, had his first career reception in the win.
The Edison defense, which recovered four fumbles and intercepted four passes, posted its fourth shutout of the season and second in league play. The four shutouts tie a single-season school record held by the 1979, '86 and '88 teams.
Fountain Valley has been stung in its three league losses, including last week's 28-21 loss to fourth-ranked Los Alamitos. The Barons also suffered a three-point loss to Huntington Beach and a seven-point setback to Newport Harbor in league play. All five Baron losses came in games decided in the fourth quarter.
Against Los Al, senior quarterback Chris d'Entremont threw touchdown passes to senior receiver
"It seems to be the theme for us these past three weeks," Shipp said of the heart-breaking losses. "It's all about finishing. The kids have played hard and have gotten after it, but we haven't been able to finish."
Edison is streaking in the Bell Game series. The Chargers have won seven in a row, including last year's 14-10 game, and have taken 10 of the last 12 meetings. Fountain Valley's last win (21-20) came in 2004. The Chargers lead the series, 27-14-1.
Marina (3-5, 0-3) vs. Newport Harbor (4-4, 2-1), 7 p.m., Newport Harbor High: Marina, which has found the going tough in Sunset League play, takes on a Newport Harbor team that has won its last two league outings.
Marina is coming off a 78-0 loss to Edison, a game in which the Vikings turned the ball over eight times. In three league games, they have been outscored, 155-3.
"We need to take care of the football," Marina Coach George Pascoe said. "If we do that, we have a chance against Newport, which is always a well-coached team and they play very hard. We must rise to their level."
Marina running back/defensive back Adam Anunciation sprained his ankle against Edison and Pascoe said the senior is "doubtful" for Thursday.
Newport Harbor moved into this week's Southwest Division poll after rallying past then-No. 8 Huntington Beach last week. Quarterback Cole Norris threw two touchdown passes to Quest Truxton and rushed for another score, and running back Talalelei Teaupa rushed 32 times for 183 yards as the Sailors overcame a 14-0 deficit to pull out a 20-17 win over the Oilers.
Los Alamitos (6-2, 2-1) vs. Huntington Beach (4-4, 2-1), 7 p.m., Huntington Beach High: It's a big game for both Huntington and Los Al, who are locked with Newport Harbor in a three-way tie for second place in the Sunset League.
Huntington fell out of Southwest Division poll and a share of the Sunset lead after last week's 20-17 loss at Newport Harbor. Junior quarterback Kai Ross rushed for 168 yards and senior running back Bowen Breunig ran for 112 for the Oilers. Ross threw a 29-yard TD pass to senior receiver Marco Valenzuela and rushed for a score, and senior Wyatt Marlow kicked a 23-yard field goal.
"We had a big lead and had our chances, but we couldn't finish," Huntington Coach Eric Lo said. "Now we have another big game to focus on. The kids know it's a huge game for us and they know they need to perform well against a good Los Al team."
Los Alamitos, the No. 4 team in the Southwest Division, bounced back from a loss to Edison by holding off Fountain Valley, 28-21, last week. Quarterback Cody Marshall threw for 256 yards and a score and running back Richie Molina rushed for a touchdown in the win.
Brethren Christian (5-3, 1-0) vs. St. Margaret's (7-1, 1-0), 7 p.m., St. Margaret's High: The Academy League lead is on the line when Brethren Christian travels to San Juan Capistrano to take on the defending league champion and second-ranked team in the East Valley Division.
BC opened its league slate last week with a 42-13 win over Sage Hill. Junior quarterback Jack McInally threw for 260 yards with three touchdowns, senior receiver/defensive back Austin Gorrell had a reception and interception return for touchdowns, linebacker Jake Roque returned an interception for a touchdown, and sophomore receiver Guy Demazeliere (pass) and junior receiver/running back Jared Fuga (run) also scored for the Warriors.
Gorell had eight catches for 156 yards and finished with two interceptions. McInally now has 28 touchdown passes for the season.
St. Margaret's heads into the game on a four-game win streak. The Tartans' only loss came last month to a Laguna Beach team (7-0-1) that is ranked No. 2 in the Southern Division. Last week, the Tartans romped past Crean Lutheran, 61-0, in the other Academy League opener. Quarterback
St. Margaret's has scored 69, 77 and 61 points in its last three games. The Tartans defense also has three shutouts to its credit.
Ocean View (4-4, 1-2) vs. Orange (5-3, 2-1), 7 p.m., El Modena High: Ocean View faces a key challenge as it attempts to stay in the Golden West League race when it takes on the red-hot Panthers Saturday.
Ocean View dropped a 54-14 homecoming game last week to rival Westminster. The Seahawks struggled offensively in the first half and went into the locker room down, 40-0.
Senior Cristian Negrete put the Seahawks on the scoreboard in the third quarter with a 78-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Junior running back Daniel Valencia scored on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Orange pulled off a stunner last week by defeating Segerstrom, then the No. 1-ranked team in the Southern Division, 45-33, on Oct. 18. Running back Aaron Aguilar powered his way for 226 yards and five touchdowns to lead the upset.
"Orange is a great story of a team finding its identity at the perfect time," Ocean View Coach Luis Nunez said. "They figured out their strength of playing physical football. We expect traditional, smash-mouth football and they may have the best running back (Aguilar) in our league. Our backs are against the wall and we have to find a way to fight and battle for every inch this week."