Fountain Valley High football coach Jimmy Nolan watched Corona del Mar play Edison in a Sunset League opener on Sept. 27 at Huntington Beach High.
Nolan said he came away impressed with CdM junior quarterback Ethan Garbers’ arm, but also his scrambling ability. What also impressed Nolan was the way the Sea Kings could put points on the board.
“That first half of the Edison game, I thought they could have been up 42-7 without the penalties,” Nolan said. “I don’t remember any team, since I’ve been alive, that could have been up 42-7 against Edison at halftime. I took that home with me that night and it just wasn’t a good feeling … and obviously my fears are coming true.”
Penalties aside, Garbers and the Sea Kings only scored 21 against Edison. Fountain Valley was a team that they could really pick apart, and the Sea Kings did so Friday night in a league game at Newport Harbor High.
Garbers had a record-setting performance in CdM’s 49-21 victory at home, completing 24 of 30 passes for a CdM single-game record 472 yards, six touchdowns and an interception. Garbers surpassed his older brother Chase, who had 414 passing yards in a 2016 game. The six touchdown passes tied Ethan Garbers’ own record from earlier this year against El Toro, one that he and Chase share.
Junior receiver John Humphreys also had a record-setting night, with 11 catches for a record 273 yards and four touchdowns. TaeVeon Le held the previous CdM record with 234 receiving yards in a 2016 game.
“I think we had some balance there and spread it around really well,” said CdM coach Dan O’Shea, who saw junior receiver Bradley Schlom catch five passes for 129 yards and a touchdown, while junior receiver Simon Hall had a nine-yard touchdown catch and junior tight end Mark Redman made five catches for 54 yards. “That was a good night for us, for sure. We needed that. We needed to play clean on offense. I don’t think we had, short of the El Toro game maybe, so it was a good week for us.”
CdM (6-1, 2-0 in league), ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division 4, earned its sixth straight win. The Sea Kings gained momentum headed into a key Sunset League game on Oct. 12 at Cerritos College against Los Alamitos (6-1, 2-0).
[The Griffins are] killing everybody, so we’ll have our hands full. They’re really good, and the league champion last year, so we’ll see if we’re ready ...
The play that put both Garbers and Humphreys over the top in terms of yardage was their final touchdown connection, which went for 80 yards. Garbers, who also had a rushing touchdown to open the scoring, credited CdM’s offensive line of Thomas Bouda, Tanner Tomlinson, Sean Owens, Hunter Schimmelpfennig and Vinny Provenza.
“[The record] is good,” Garbers said, “but the win is the most important thing to me, just winning with the team and spreading the ball around to my guys.”
CdM also had success running the ball with sophomore Jason Vicencio, who had 14 carries for 110 yards.
Fountain Valley (4-3, 0-2), ranked No. 9 in Division 8, has lost three straight. CdM sacked junior quarterback Josh Stupin four times, two each recorded by Redman and Carter Duss.
The Barons used big plays to score each of their three touchdowns. Senior Kishaun Sykes had two of them, a 76-yard touchdown run and a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown.
“He is simply the fastest guy in this league,” O’Shea said. “He is unbelievable.”
Dillon Kerrigan had the other score on defense for Fountain Valley, taking a deflected pass back 88 yards for a touchdown.
Nolan said his team missed its leading tackler, junior free safety Jerry Ngo, who was a late scratch with an ankle injury.
“We’re falling apart,” Nolan said. “The boys aren’t quitting, but we’re having a lot of mental errors and we’re just not making plays.”
Fountain Valley plays at Huntington Beach (5-2, 1-1) on Oct. 12, while the Sea Kings travel for their anticipated game against the Griffins.
“[The Griffins are] killing everybody, so we’ll have our hands full,” O’Shea said. “They’re really good, and the league champion last year, so we’ll see if we’re ready to play with the league champion. It’ll be a heck of a game.”
Corona del Mar 49, Fountain Valley 21
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Fountain Valley 7 – 0 – 7 – 7 — 21
Corona del Mar 28 – 14 – 7 – 0 — 49
CdM – Garbers 4 run (Schroeder kick), 8:21.
FV – Sykes 76 run (Martinez kick), 7:29.
CdM – Schlom 26 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), 5:49.
CdM – Humphreys 17 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), 2:42.
CdM – Hall 9 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), :11.
CdM – Humphreys 14 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), 4:34.
CdM – Humphreys 2 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), :21.
FV – Kerrigan 88 INT return (Martinez kick), 7:09.
CdM – Humphreys 80 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), 6:50.
FV – Sykes 79 punt return (Martinez kick), 5:49.
FV – Sykes, 11-111, 1 TD.
CdM – Vicencio, 14-110.
FV – Stupin, 16-23-0, 183.
CdM – Garbers, 24-30-1, 472, 6 TDs.
FV – Sykes, 5-58.
CdM – Humphreys, 11-273, 4 TDs.