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Fountain Valley football celebrates first win under coach Chris Anderson

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Tanner Ciok (5) celebrates his touchdown with Fountain Valley teammate Blake Anderson in the first half of a nonleague game against Woodbridge on Thursday at Huntington Beach High.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The Fountain Valley High football team had just finished off a comfortable 40-7 nonleague victory over Woodbridge on Thursday night at Huntington Beach High.

Senior running back Tanner Ciok completed the postgame handshake line, and instead of joining the rest of his teammates in the west end zone, he darted over to the Barons’ bench area.

Ciok lifted a rather full Gatorade cooler, and he brought it as far as his strength would allow. Then he joined the gathering, where first-year Barons coach Chris Anderson addressed his team after earning his first win.

Fountain Valley principal Morgan Smith and assistant principal Kelly Skon knew exactly what Ciok had in mind, and they did the honors, giving Anderson the celebratory Gatorade shower that sent the Barons (1-2) collectively into a frenzied state.

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“Absolutely, [I’m happy],” Anderson said of notching his first coaching victory at Fountain Valley. “I’m tired of hearing about it. I’m more happy for those kids and our staff. They work really, really hard.”

A full team effort pleased Anderson, one that led to a pair of big nights for two of the Barons’ captains.

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Fountain Valley wide receiver Blake Anderson, left, holds on to complete the 43-yard reception against Woodbridge's Vincent Garcia in the first half of a nonleague game on Thursday at Huntington Beach High.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Senior wide receiver Blake Anderson had eight catches for 190 yards and two touchdowns, and Ciok carried the ball 24 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns.

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After losing a pair of games on the road that the Barons felt they could have won, Ciok said it made a difference to be at home. The lively student section wore Hawaiian clothing in the spirt of an “Aloha” theme.

“There’s nothing better than being at home with our home crowd and getting hyped on the sideline,” Ciok said. “It brings the energy up. We got a win. Life is good right now.”

Ciok also credited his offensive line of Joey Tallabas, Taha Khaleq, Fernando Silva, Moses Atuatasi and Brad Sweeney for his strong showing.

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Fountain Valley running back Tanner Ciok (5) stiff-arms Woodbridge's Owen Lucas in the first half of a nonleague game on Thursday at Huntington Beach High.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Fountain Valley exploded for 23 points in the second quarter. Tanner Ciok scored on a 17-yard run for his second touchdown of the night to give the Barons a 17-0 lead at the 8:39 mark.

Woodbridge (0-3) needed just 20 seconds to respond. On the first play of the Warriors’ ensuing drive, Carry Rainey sprinted through a hole and up the right sideline for a 74-yard rushing touchdown.

Success on the ground set up the passing attack for the Barons, and Anderson twice got behind the Woodbridge secondary.

Liam Caldwell made his first appearance of the season for the Barons at quarterback. The junior’s first touchdown in a Baron uniform was a beauty, as he took the contact to deliver a deep ball to his right, which hit Anderson in stride for a 69-yard touchdown.

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“I’m very impressed,” Anderson said of Caldwell. “He’s definitely put in the work, and he’s been wanting [to play]. I’m glad he got it going and made a big play like that. I’m proud of him.”

Chris Anderson said that Caldwell, who transferred from Edison last year, recently became eligible last week. The Barons platooned starting quarterback Jimmy Russell and Caldwell, and Anderson said they plan to let both players battle for the starting job before the start of Sunset League play.

Russell completed eight of 11 passes for 126 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown to Blake Anderson with 34 seconds left in the first half.

Andy Rodriguez added a short-yardage rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter for the Barons. It came following a 68-yard interception return to the Woodbridge one by Evan Fink.

Justin Curti also had two tackles for a loss for the Fountain Valley defense.

“Justin Curti, one of our [defensive backs], again came up and made some impact plays for us at the line of scrimmage from the safety position, but a big part of that is our front seven,” Chris Anderson said. “We talk about playing assignment-sound football, maintaining gap integrity, and by them doing that, that allowed Justin to come downhill and make some plays.”

Woodbridge won the Pacific Coast League championship last season, but the Warriors lost all 11 starters on offense from a year ago. Warriors co-coach Rick Gibson said that it marked the first time in his 32 seasons as head coach that he had to replace all of the starters on one side of the ball.

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Fountain Valley wide receiver Blake Anderson stiff-arms Woodbridge's Owen Lucas in the first half of a nonleague game on Thursday at Huntington Beach High.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Nonleague

Fountain Valley 40, Woodbridge 7

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Woodbridge 0 – 7 – 0 – 0 — 7

Fountain Valley 10 – 23 – 0 – 7 — 40

FIRST QUARTER

Martinez 33 FG, 5:05.

Ciok 12 run (Martinez kick), 1:01.

SECOND QUARTER

Ciok 17 run (Martinez kick), 8:39.

Rainey 74 run (Trestik kick), 8:19.

Anderson 69 pass from Caldwell (Martinez kick), 6:14.

Safety (Took knee in end zone), 4:03.

Anderson 38 pass from Russell (Martinez kick), :34.

FOURTH QUARTER

Rodriguez 2 run (Martinez kick), 6:43.

INDIVIDUAL RUSHING

W – Rainey, 5-80, 1 TD.

FV – Ciok, 24-144, 2 TDs.

INDIVIDUAL PASSING

W – Assayag, 9-24-1, 89.

FV – Russell, 8-11-0, 126, 1 TD.

INDIVIDUAL RECEIVING

W – Dube, 4-54.

FV – Anderson, 8-190, 2 TDs.

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