Fountain Valley football falters at El Dorado

Fountain Valley's Ben Pham stiff arms Marina's Alfonso Vega in a nonleague game at Westminster High School on Sept. 10, 2021.
Fountain Valley’s Ben Pham stiff arms Marina’s Alfonso Vega during a nonleague game at Westminster High School on Sept. 10, 2021.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

A seemingly endless series of mistakes crippled Fountain Valley High in its second outing of the football season, lending a hand that El Dorado did not need while romping to an emphatic victory.

The Barons racked up 108 yards in penalties, threw a pick-six, struggled on offense and special teams, and couldn’t contain El Dorado’s balanced attack.

It all added up to a 50-7 loss Thursday night at Valencia High School.

“I think we made a season’s amount of mistakes today, so hopefully we got them all out,” said second-year head coach David Gutierrez, who was hoping to build on last week’s 52-14 rout of Valencia on the same field. “I think every mistake we could have made, we made. We really did.

“If I look at the film, I’m going to guarantee you every series we had, we had at least one or two mistakes. We’ve got to do better on our part, and we’ll let the scoreboard figure it out after.”

Most of the miscues led to scores as the Golden Hawks (2-0) rolled to a 33-0 halftime advantage — with points on every possession except the last, which ended with an end-zone incompletion as the clock ran out — that grew to 50-0 heading into a running-clock fourth quarter.

The Barons (1-1) got some redemption at the end, getting on the scoreboard on Hayden Espinoza’s five-yard run on fourth-and-goal after Ben Pham recovered a bad snap at the El Dorado 2. It wasn’t easy: A 5-yard penalty quickly dropped them back to the 7, and after Pham carried to the 1, backup quarterback Owen Tomko knelt down as he fielded a low snap.

El Dorado, which returns most of its difference-makers from a team that last year won a share of its first league title in 13 years and posted its first winning season in a dozen, appeared unstoppable regardless of the Barons’ troubles, getting a combined 167 yards and three touchdowns from Diego Soria and Isaiah Quintero..

“Our guys are learning how to win still. Obviously, they showed that today,” said Gutierrez, whose team went 1-9 last season. “That’s a good team over there. They played tough, they tackled well, they ran hard. Both their running backs ran hard, and we hadn’t seen a back [like Soria], and I’m glad we saw it now, because now we can work on it.”

El Dorado amassed 12 of its 18 first downs in the first quarter — four of them as the Barons picked up five penalties for 69 yards — driving inside the red zone on its first possession before settling for the first of two Evan Campuzano field goals and then marching to the first of Quintero’s two scores.

Campuzano added another field goal to start the second quarter. Then Noa Banua, who last week threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns, found his footing and drove Fountain Valley 64 yards to the Golden Hawks’ 12. Three straight incompletions ended the threat.

Soria, who ran for 103 yards on 10 carries, then made the play of the night, seemingly going down amid a mass of Barons, then somehow spinning out of the scrum and, with two open-field cutbacks, running for 57 yards to set up a 31-yard touchdown scamper by Wyatt Tway, one of two alternating El Dorado quarterbacks.

The Golden Hawks again stopped the Barons and Gaven Rivera returned a punt 59 yards to the 4-yard line. Quintero burst into the end zone on the next play to make it 27-0. Campuzano intercepted Banua and returned it 23 yards for another score on the next play from scrimmage.

El Dorado scored on all three third-quarter possessions.

Soria scored on a 24-yard run, quarterback Nate Bento on a 12-yard run and backup kicker Brayden Kim knocked down a field goal — the last two after starting drives inside the Barons 30 after fumbled kickoff returns.

Banua connected on 9 of 21 passes for 73 yards, five of the completions — all in the second quarter — going to a Scott Peshke amid tight coverage for 55 yards.

“Our goal is to improve each week, and we didn’t improve this week,” Gutierrez said. “It’s just executing on our end. For me, we have to do our job, [regardless if the opponent is] bigger, faster and stronger than us. If we don’t do our job, we can’t win games.”

El Dorado 50, Fountain Valley 7


Fountain Valley 0 - 0 - 0 - 7 — 7

El Dorado 10 - 23 - 17 - 0 — 50


ED — Campuzano 32 FG, 6:28.

ED — Quintero 1 run (Campuzano kick), 2:01.


ED — Campuzano 26 FG, 11:37.

ED — Tway 31 run (Campuzano kick), 5:22.

ED — Quintero 4 run (kick blocked), 2:55.

ED — Campuzano 23 interception return (Campuzano kick), 2:47.


ED — Soria 17 run (Campuzano kick), 8:36.

ED — Bento 3 run (Kim kick), 6:28.

ED — Kim FG 22, 4:05.


FV — Espinoza 5 run (Olivares kick), 4:07.


FV — Espinoza, 6-27, 1 TD; Pham, 6-20.

ED — Soria 10-103, 1 TD; Quintero 15-64, 2 TDs.


FV — Banua, 11-27-1-89-0.

ED — Tway, 5-7-0-64-0; Bento, 4-11-0-35-0.


FV — Peshke, 5-55.

ED — Chiotti, 4-62.


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