Casey Clark came up with the play that ignited the Barons.
With La Mirada facing a second-and-10 from the Fountain Valley 17-yard
line, quarterback Chris Cox's pass to the goal line, which was intended
for Anthony Ortega, went off the hands of the Baron's Stephen Webber ,
then fell into the arms of Clark.
The sophomore, who also started at quarterback for the Barons,
raced 56 yards before being hauled down by a host of Matadores at the La
Mirada 44-yard line with 3:39 to go in the quarter. On the first play
from scrimmage, Nedal Abdelmuti, who finished with 98 yards on 18
carries, gained 20 on a carry around right end.
Five plays later, fullback Steven Fifita bullied his way into the
end zone, and Matt Hanson's conversion gave Fountain Valley (2-1) its
first lead, 10-7, with 34 seconds left in the period.
It was Fifita, also a starter along the defensive line, who also
added the knockout punch early in the fourth quarter.
The 5-foot-11, 240 senior scooped up Cox's fumble at the La Mirada
17-yard line and raced untouched to the end zone to up Fountain Valley's
lead to 16-7 with 8:34 to play.
The Baron defense did the rest from there as it didn't allow La
Mirada to penetrate past its own 41 during the Matadores' final three
possessions of the game.
'I thought our defense played another great game,' Fountain Valley
Coach Eric Johnson said. 'We came up with some big turnovers, and they
turned this ballgame around.'
The Fountain Valley defense recovered two of La Mirada's four
fumbles, with Fifita recording both recoveries. Junior cornerback Chad
Triplett had a fourth quarter interception, senior linebacker Brian
Dopler had a pair of quarterback sacks and both Fifita and junior lineman
Bernard Fano each had one sack.
The final score marked the second time in three games that the
Fountain Valley defense has limited an opponent to a touchdown or less.
The Barons defeated Dana Hills, 7-6, in the first week of the
La Mirada's score, however, was a gift, as the Matadores (2-1)
recovered a Fifita fumble at the Fountain Valley 12-yard line on the