It’s been nearly four seasons since Ray Fenton left Fountain Valley High to join Los Alamitos as its head football coach. Fenton’s Griffins haven’t been kind to his former team in three meetings, outscoring Fountain Valley in those games by a combined score of 173-20.
That trend continued Friday at Cerritos College as host Los Alamitos dismantled Fountain Valley 42-7, giving the Griffins their first Sunset League win of the season.
Though he didn’t pull any punches during the game, Fenton was complimentary of his former team afterward.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for what they’re doing over there,” he said. “All week long we’ve been preparing for them. They are doing a really good job this year, and it’s impressive to watch them.”
Senior quarterback Cade McConnell completed 10 of 22 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns for Los Alamitos (2-5, 1-1 in league), which is tied for third place in the Sunset League with Edison (4-3, 1-1). Giovanni De Leon caught eight passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, and he returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown.
There were bright spots for the Barons (3-4, 0-2), who are in last place with Huntington Beach (1-6, 0-2). Senior receiver Blake Anderson caught six passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.
The performance didn’t lighten the blow of the loss for Anderson.
“I still feel it pretty hard,” Anderson said. “I’d rather have a win over anything.”
Fountain Valley quarterback Jimmy Russell completed nine of 17 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. The junior also threw one interception.
Los Alamitos jumped ahead quickly off a Jaiden Mitchell nine-yard touchdown run and a Noah Shafton 25-yard field goal. The scores made it 10-0 Los Alamitos with 4:45 remaining in the first quarter.
The highlight of the first half for Fountain Valley was a spectacular 50-yard punt by James Martinez. The senior scrambled away from a Los Alamitos defender and launched a punt inside the opponent’s five-yard line as time ticked down in the first quarter.
Two plays later, linebacker Carlos Salazar recovered a fumble at the Los Alamitos seven. Fountain Valley capitalized on the turnover. Russell threw a five-yard touchdown to Anderson in the front corner of the end zone, cutting the deficit to 10-7.
From there, it was all Los Alamitos.
Less than a minute later, McConnell launched a 62-yard touchdown pass to De Leon to regain Los Alamitos’ 10-point lead.
After a Fountain Valley safety, McConnell found freshman receiver Jordan Castro for a 45-yard score. After a failed kick, Los Alamitos led 25-7.
McConnell continued to air it out. On Los Alamitos’ next possession, he connected with freshman Gavin Porch for a 44-yard completion. That set up McConnell’s own six-yard scramble for a touchdown and the Griffins took a 32-7 lead.
“We’ve never been in a situation before where we’ve gotten all these freshmen that are so talented,” said Fenton, who replaced McConnell in the second half with anther freshman, Malachi Nelson. “To get playing time and contribute the way that they have, the maturity level is really what I’m most impressed with. They’re really good kids.”
Los Alamitos plays at Newport Harbor (7-0, 2-0) on Oct. 18. The Sailors and Corona del Mar (7-0, 2-0) share first place in the league.
Fountain Valley coach Chris Anderson was disappointed his team didn’t put together a full effort in the loss.
“I told them, ‘You played with them for three quarters,’” said Anderson, whose Barons host CdM at Huntington Beach High on Oct. 17. “You take away the second quarter, and it’s 13-7. You have to play four quarters. We’re a better football team than the scoreboard showed tonight.”
Los Alamitos 42, Fountain Valley 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Fountain Valley 0 – 7 – 0 – 0 — 7
Los Alamitos 10 – 29 – 3 – 0 — 42
LA – Mitchell 9 run (Shafton kick), 9:55.
LA – Shafton 25 FG, 4:45.
FV – Anderson 5 pass from Russell (Martinez kick), 11:55.
LA – De Leon 62 pass from McConnell (Shafton kick), 11:11.
LA – Safety, 9:43.
LA – Castro 45 pass from McConnell (kick failed), 8:53.
LA – McConnell 6 run (Shafton kick), 3:40.
LA – De Leon 40 fumble return (Shafton kick), 2:36.
LA – Shafton 35 FG, :17.
FV – Ciok, 11-34.
LA – Mitchell, 10-22, 1 TD.
FV – Russell, 9-17-1, 111, 1 TD.
LA – McConnell, 10-22, 236, 3 TDs.
FV – Anderson, 6-93, 1 TD.
LA – De Leon, 8-131, 1 TD.
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