It was the first-year head coach's first career loss at Fountain
'I've been in charge of punt units for the past 12 years, and
never, never before has anything like this happened to one of my teams,'
said Johnson, who spent the past 10 years as the defensive coordinator at
Mater Dei. 'I mean, maybe I've seen a blocked punt every two or three
years in my coaching career, but this was ridiculous.
'I take pride in the pass successes of my punt units. But
this...this is unbelievable. We've been working hard on our punting game
- and blocking, during practice this week. We'll need to be sharp if we
hope to beat La Mirada.'
Johnson and the host Barons will attempt to rectify their punting
woes tonight (7 p.m.) when La Mirada pays a visit to Huntington Beach's
Sheue Field in the third week of the prep season.
While Fountain Valley (1-1) comes into the nonleague clash looking
for answers, La Mirada comes into the game on a roll - although the
Matadores will be looking to find an answer themselves to a huge question
La Mirada, 2-0 after lopsided victories over West Torrance (40-0)
and Buena Park (41-13), will be without the services of its star running
back, Mike Lemon, who broke two bones in his right leg in the season
opener against West Torrance.
Lemon, a senior who rushed for 2,600 yards and a school-record 34
touchdowns as a junior and was named to the All-CIF Southern Section
Division IX team, is out for the season.
'Obviously, it's a big loss to our team,' said La Mirada Coach
John Mele, now in his 12th year at the school. 'Mike was a tremendous
running back and a great contributor to our program, and this is
especially tough to take since this is his last year at the school.'
With Lemon out, La Mirada's other running back, Chris Rudiger,
stepped into the spotlight in the Buena Park game and rushed for 147
yards and three touchdowns in the 41-13 victory.
'Craig did a nice job in his first start as our premier running
back,' Mele said. 'To be honest with you, though, when it comes to our
two wins, we have posted some impressive scores, but, really, we haven't