The Los Alamitos High football team began its Sunset League title defense in electrifying fashion on Friday night.
Griffins junior Oscar Brown bobbled the opening kickoff before taking it 85 yards for a touchdown at Huntington Beach High. Fifteen seconds into the game, the visitors led Fountain Valley by a touchdown.
Los Alamitos certainly didn’t stop there.
The Griffins poured it on, earning their fifth straight win with a resounding 69-0 victory over the Barons in the league opener.
Los Alamitos (5-1 overall), ranked No. 6 in CIF Southern Section Division 2, scored touchdowns on all seven of its first-half possessions.
Junior quarterback Cade McConnell threw four touchdown passes in the first quarter alone. He lofted an 11-yard touchdown to Edwin La Crosse, and then he found Kenui Huey on a pair of scores that went for 18 and 49 yards.
McConnell completed all nine of his passes in the first quarter. The ninth one went to the right to senior receiver Demario King, who followed a block from senior lineman Jack Blackman and was gone for a 36-yard score that gave the Griffins a 34-0 advantage in the final minute of the quarter.
“I felt comfortable out there,” McConnell said. “When you’ve got a lot of guys out there supporting you the way they do, it makes my job easier. It makes my job a lot more fun, because you can trust those guys.”
Los Alamitos coach Ray Fenton was well on his way to earning his third straight league victory against Fountain Valley, the team he coached from 2013-15. Fountain Valley (4-2), ranked No. 5 in Division 8, could not compete with the early onslaught in its homecoming game.
The Barons didn’t record a first down until their fifth drive, when junior quarterback Josh Stupin hit Tanner Ciok for a 16-yard completion on the final play of the first quarter.
The Griffins scored their next two touchdowns on interceptions that were returned for a touchdown. First it was senior cornerback Bobby Blandino taking it 46 yards to the house. Then, Huey stopped Fountain Valley’s best drive of the half.
On fourth-and-goal from the Griffins’ one-yard line, Barons coach Jimmy Nolan went with a trick play. Stupin pitched the ball to receiver Brandon Krause, who passed it into the end zone. But Huey was ready. He intercepted the pass and returned it 100 yards down the Griffins’ sideline, giving Los Alamitos a 48-0 lead.
Fenton said the Griffins have returned two interceptions for touchdowns in each of their last three games. In last week’s 35-16 win at Tesoro, John Newman and Nick Valenzuela did the honors. Valenzuela also had an interception Friday against Fountain Valley.
“When your defense is scoring more points than your opponent, then you’ve got a pretty good thing going,” said Fenton, who will lead the Griffins against Newport Harbor (3-2-1, 0-1 in league) at Cerritos College on Oct. 5. “I think our defense does an outstanding job.”
Zack Wagoner had two rushing touchdowns late in the second quarter, and backup quarterback Ryan Henderson hit John Aulenta for another passing score late in the third. The 69 points is the most that the Griffins have scored since a 70-14 nonleague win over Norwalk on Sept. 2, 2011.
The second half was played with a running clock. Fountain Valley’s Jackson Weddle stripped the ball from the quarterback and recovered the fumble in the fourth quarter, setting the Barons up with a first-and-goal. But they again couldn’t find the end zone.
“I can’t explain it, but nothing we did worked today,” said Fountain Valley coach Jimmy Nolan, whose team plays Corona del Mar (5-1, 1-0) on Oct. 5 at Newport Harbor High. “We had a good week of practice. I wish I had the answers. All I know is that we’re lucky that we have a game next week. It’s not like boxing, where you’ve got to wait a year to fight again. All we can do is stand or fall, and hopefully we stand up and start persevering.”
Los Alamitos 69, Fountain Valley 0
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Los Alamitos 34 – 28 – 7 – 0 — 69
Fountain Valley 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 0
LA – Brown 85 kickoff return (Valenzuela kick), 11:45.
LA – La Crosse 11 pass from McConnell (kick failed), 9:02.
LA – Huey 18 pass from McConnell (Valenzuela kick), 4:41.
LA – Huey 49 pass from McConnell (Valenzuela kick), 3:01.
LA – King 36 pass from McConnell (Valenzuela kick), :26.
LA – Blandino 46 INT return (Valenzuela kick), 11:05.
LA – Huey 100 INT return (Valenzuela kick), 6:47.
LA – Wagoner 23 run (Valenzuela kick), 4:24.
LA – Wagoner 7 run (Valenzuela kick), 2:50.
LA – J. Aulenta 13 pass from Henderson (Valenzuela kick), 1:08.
LA – Norman, 7-59.
FV – Fuiava, 7-26.
LA – McConnell, 9-10-0, 189, 4 TDs.
FV – Stupin, 13-40-2, 131.
LA – Huey, 4-86, 2 TDs.