Second-half blitz helps Marina football beat Fountain Valley
Marina and Fountain Valley high schools were once Sunset League football foes.
But after the CIF Southern Section realigned, the schools landed in two different leagues.
Marina notched its first win of the season Friday, defeating Fountain Valley 40-17 in their first meeting since that realignment.
For head coach Jeff Turley, it was his first victory over the Barons since 2016.
“It feels good,” Turley said. “It’s nice to get back on the winning side of the games. We’ve still got some growing and maturing to do but each week we are trying to make less mistakes than the week before.”
Marina quarterback Brock Beaver completed 19 of 31 passes for 260 yards and four touchdowns. He threw two interceptions.
Aidan O’Callaghan hauled in two touchdowns for Marina (1-3), one from 22 yards and the other from 30. Dominic Harvey scored a rushing and a receiving touchdown as well.
Beaver looked comfortable with his receiving corps, completing multiple passes to five different pass catchers.
“I’ve been playing with them since my sophomore year,” Beaver said. “Through the years we’ve gained a great connection with each other. During practice we always throw routes and get better as the days go on.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Marina’s Cade Jackman had a massive game, snatching a career-high two interceptions. He also had a third-quarter sack that forced Fountain Valley (1-3) back 10 yards and out of field goal range when the game was still close.
“It didn’t feel real,” Jackman said.
“I’m at a loss for words. Coach was looking at me on the sideline and he calls the blitz call. I was like ‘I don’t know if that’s going to work,’ and he called it. It was a weak-side blitz, I dove at his legs, picked him up and got the sack.”
Fountain Valley benefited early from efficient play by quarterback Owen Tomko, who completed nine of 18 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions.
Drew Reyes and Scott Peshke each caught touchdowns for the Barons, of 58 and 65 yards, respectively.
First-year Fountain Valley head coach David Gutierrez has seen his junior quarterback take positive steps this season.
“As he continues to work, he will get better,” Gutierrez said. “Our receivers are starting to trust him, and our guys are protecting him. It’s something that’s improved, and we hope to continue to get better with that.”
Tomko led the Barons to a 17-14 lead at the half. Trailing 7-3, he hit Reyes with a deep pass, and the receiver snaked up the middle and then down the Fountain Valley sideline into the end zone.
Reyes has seen improvement in Tomko as well.
“Our chemistry has improved the past three weeks,” he said. “It wasn’t too good in the first two games, but tonight it improved a lot.”
Thirteen seconds after Marina took the lead back at 14-10, Tomko found Peshke, this time for a 65-yard touchdown, to take the lead back near the end of the first half.
That would be the Barons’ final score of the game.
Marina rattled off four consecutive touchdowns in the second half, two passes from Beaver to O’Callaghan, and runs from Grant Brenton and Harvey to bring the final score to 40-17.
Marina’s final touchdown was a controversial one.
With just 24 seconds remaining and the Vikings leading 34-17, Beaver connected with O’Callaghan for a 30-yard touchdown pass that drew the ire of Fountain Valley fans.
Though it bothered the crowd, Gutierrez put the responsibility on his team for allowing the touchdown.
“We have to stop them,” he said. “Either way, they are going to play football and we are going to play it back and if we don’t want them to score, we have to cover.”
Turley chalked it up to a young quarterback recognizing a coverage he’d seen in practice executing, as well as a reaction to the two teams’ familiarity with each other.
“We’d been really working on our quarterback maturing and recognizing things,” Turley said. “A lot of times they don’t always pay attention to where we are. All he saw was that was something we worked on to check to and he checked it.
“I was like, ‘What did he just do? We’re trying to just run the clock.’ And he’s like, ‘That’s the check we worked on.’ The boys, they get a lot of ribbing through the years, and they’ve heard it. I think that had a lot to do with it.”
Marina 40, Fountain Valley 17
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Marina 7 – 7 – 14 – 12 — 40
Fountain Valley 3 – 14 – 0 – 0 — 17
M – Harvey 21 pass from Beaver (Lastra kick), 9:27.
FV – Osorio 26 FG, 3:29.
FV – Reyes 58 pass from Tomko (Osorio kick), 8:25.
M – Lastra 20 pass from Beaver (Lastra kick), 1:42.
FV – Peshke 65 pass from Tomko (Osorio kick), 1:29.
M – Brenton 2 run (Lastra kick), 6:41.
M – O’Callaghan 22 pass from Beaver (Lastra kick), 1:10.
M – Harvey 12 run (kick failed), 7:06.
M – O’Callaghan 30 pass from Beaver (kick failed), 0:24.
M – Harvey, 18-106, TD.
FV – Pham, 9-29.
M – Beaver, 19-31-2, 260, 4 TDs.
FV – Tomko, 9-18-2, 200, 2 TDs.
M – O’Callaghan, 5-80, 2 TDs.
FV – Reyes 4-102, TD.
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