Fountain Valley sets school rushing record in win over Marina
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Fountain Valley 45, Marina 14
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Marina 7 – 7 – 0 – 0 — 14
Fountain Valley 7 – 21 – 7 – 10 — 45
M — Fabian 25 run (Lastra kick), 6:06.
FV — Habibeh 6 run (Olivares kick), 1:16.
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.
FV — Pham 5 run (Olivares kick), 9:27.
FV — Smith 2 run (Olivares kick), 9:11.
FV — Olivares 38 FG, 1:39.
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.
M — Hunnicutt, 9-24-1, 100, 1 TD.
FV — Banua, 3-7-0, 62.
M — Rhoads, 1-78, 1 TD.
FV — Olivares, 1-35.
Support our sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.
All the latest on Orange County from Orange County.
Get our free TimesOC newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Daily Pilot.