Well, it's 1999, and Ciarelli's Oilers went a respectable 4-1
during the first five weeks of the season, all of which is a prelude to
another Sunset League lidlifter with Fountain Valley.
The Oilers and Barons hook up for the 27th time Friday (7 p.m.) at
Huntington Beach's Sheue Field on Fountain Valley's homecoming night.
"We've had a nice nonleague season, but now the real season
begins," said Ciarelli, now in his third year at Huntington Beach.
"Our guys have played well and we're pretty much injury-free, and
we're just looking forward to play a tough Fountain Valley team."
Huntington Beach's last win in the series came in 1993, when the
Oilers scored a 14-10 victory. They went on to claim the Sunset title
that year - the school's last - and reached the Division I championship
It was also the final victory of a four-game win streak in the
series by Huntington Beach, which trails the Barons, 19-6-1.
The Oilers' best chances of notching series victory No. 7 lay in
their ground game and a stingy defense that is allowing opponents 15
points per game.
Running back Shaun Shuck is Huntington's main go-to guy, and the
senior has responded with 553 total yards and a 4.5 yards per rush
"He's a good one," Fountain Valley Coach Eric Johnson said of
Shuck. "He's just a tough runner and a real workhorse, and it should be
an interesting battle between he and Nedal."
Johnson was referring to Fountain Valley running back Nedal
Abdelmuti, who has rushed for 527 yards (8.2 average), in his first four
Abdelmuti did not suit up for last week's game with Trabuco Hills
because of a one-game suspension he had to serve.
The junior was ejected in the second half of an Oct. 2 win over
Servite after receiving his second taunting penalty of the game.
"It's nice to have Nedal back, especially for league play,"
Johnson said. "Hopefully, he's learned his lesson from that mistake and
is ready to get on with the season. We'll need him if we hope to have a
respectable rushing game."
Without Abdelmuti last week, Fountain Valley struggled on offense