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Fountain Valley sets school rushing record in win over Marina

Fountain Valley's quarterback Noa Banua celebrates scoring against Marina in a football game at Huntington Beach High School.
Fountain Valley’s quarterback Noa Banua celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Marina during a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High School on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The Fountain Valley running back room had a night it won’t soon forget, as the Barons dashed past Marina in rewriting the school record book on Friday.

Eight ball carriers combined for 463 rushing yards, leading Fountain Valley to a 45-14 win over Marina in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High.

Senior Abdel Habibeh paced Fountain Valley (3-1), turning his six touches into 139 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Senior Benjamin Pham also topped the century mark with 114 yards and two touchdowns.

Fountain Valley's Max Smith breaks loose from a tackle by Marina's Shayden Sorochman.
Fountain Valley’s Max Smith breaks loose from a tackle by Marina’s Shayden Sorochman during a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Max Smith added 84 yards on the ground with a touchdown, and Adrian Esquivel also bettered 80 rushing yards.

On a rainy evening, the Barons attempted just seven passes, but junior quarterback Noa Banua picked up a fumbled snap and carried it 30 yards to the end zone, too.

“We have a great group of seniors up front,” Fountain Valley coach David Gutierrez said of the Barons’ offensive line. “Matt Mena, Gio Berinti, Dylan Bunbury, Donovan Cannon and Dylan Frisch. They’re all seniors, and again, those men prepared since November. Since our [last] season ended, they wanted a different result this season, and they’ve already done better, but we’re not finished yet.”

Fountain Valley's Frank Oviedo, right, celebrates with Abdel Habibeh after he scores a touchdown against Marina.
Fountain Valley’s Frank Oviedo, right, celebrates with Abdel Habibeh after he scores a touchdown during a nonleague football game against Marina at Huntington Beach High on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The night ended early for Habibeh after picking up a couple of penalties celebrating scores, but his final play of the night was one to behold. With the Barons backed up at their own 2-yard line, Habibeh busted through a hole and broke up the left sideline — at one point cutting back — before finishing off the 98-yard touchdown for a 21-7 lead.

“That was crazy,” Pham said of Habibeh’s coast-to-coast score. “I was on the sideline, and when I saw that, I was in shock. I was running right down the sideline. I was celebrating.”

Fountain Valley, which dropped nine consecutive games to end last season, has responded after a lopsided loss to El Dorado in its second game of the season. Including their bounce-back performance against El Toro, the Barons have outscored the opposition 83-14 over the last two weeks.

Fountain Valley's Abdel Habibeh is brought down by Marina's Jack Gladysz during a nonleague football game on Friday.
Fountain Valley’s Abdel Habibeh is brought down by Marina’s Jack Gladysz during a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Marina (0-3) was held to less than 200 yards of total offense. Anthony Fabian had 79 rushing yards, including a 25-yard touchdown to open the scoring in the first quarter.

The Vikings kept most of their pass plays close to the line of scrimmage, but Garret Hunnicutt did connect with Micah Rhoads on an intermediate route that went for a 78-yard touchdown.

Leading 28-14 at halftime, Fountain Valley remained dedicated to the run. Esquivel and Smith received their first touches after the break. Isaiah Burney, Gabriel Regalado and Caine Elroy each carried the ball once — combining for 13 rushing yards — to contribute to the record-breaking performance.

Marina's Micah Rhoads makes a catch during a game against Fountain Valley at Huntington Beach High on Friday.
Marina’s Micah Rhoads makes a catch during a game against Fountain Valley at Huntington Beach High on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The previous single-game rushing mark for Fountain Valley was 456 yards against Marina in 1977, according to Gutierrez.

In its three wins, Fountain Valley has surrendered just 28 points. Fernando Garcia, a 6-foot-5 defensive end, intercepted a screen pass for the Barons, and Michael Rocha also recorded a sack.

“We definitely took it to the chin against El Dorado, and we never want to feel that pain again,” Garcia said. “We want to come back and keep on getting victories.”

Fountain Valley's Fernando Garcia raises the ball in celebration after intercepting a pass during a game against Marina.
Fountain Valley’s Fernando Garcia raises the ball in celebration after intercepting a pass during a game against Marina at Huntington Beach High on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Garcia added that the Barons have a goal to be “playing past Week 10.” Fountain Valley last made a CIF Southern Section playoff appearance in 2018.

Fountain Valley enters a bye week, before returning to the field against visiting Aliso Niguel on Sept. 23.

Marina takes on Huntington Beach in the “Oil vs. Water” rivalry game on Sept. 16 at Westminster High.

Marina fans brave the rain during a game against Fountain Valley at Huntington Beach High on Friday.
Marina fans brave the rain during a game against Fountain Valley at Huntington Beach High on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Nonleague

Fountain Valley 45, Marina 14

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Marina 7 – 7 – 0 – 0 — 14

Fountain Valley 7 – 21 – 7 – 10 — 45

FIRST QUARTER

M — Fabian 25 run (Lastra kick), 6:06.

FV — Habibeh 6 run (Olivares kick), 1:16.

SECOND QUARTER

FV — Banua 30 run (Olivares kick), 11:21.

FV — Habibeh 98 run (Olivares kick), 4:36.

FV — Pham 36 run (Olivares kick), 1:54.

M — Rhoads 78 pass from Hunnicutt (Lastra kick), 0:59.

THIRD QUARTER

FV — Pham 5 run (Olivares kick), 9:27.

FOURTH QUARTER

FV — Smith 2 run (Olivares kick), 9:11.

FV — Olivares 38 FG, 1:39.

INDIVIDUAL RUSHING

M — Fabian, 18-79.

FV — Habibeh, 6-139, 2 TDs; Pham, 17-114, 2 TDs; Smith, 9-84, 1 TD; Esquivel, 5-83; Banua, 1-30, 1 TD.

INDIVIDUAL PASSING

M — Hunnicutt, 9-24-1, 100, 1 TD.

FV — Banua, 3-7-0, 62.

INDIVIDUAL RECEIVING

M — Rhoads, 1-78, 1 TD.

FV — Olivares, 1-35.

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