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Warrior gridders defeat Jaguars in battle for standings lead

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Prior to the Oct. 7 football games, Valley Center High School and Fallbrook High School were the final two Valley League teams undefeated in league play. The two teams played each other at Valley Center High School, and Fallbrook's 42-22 win gave the Warriors sole possession of first place.

"We're happy to get a good win out of it," said Fallbrook head coach Ross Johnson.

Fallbrook is in sole possession of first place in the Valley League standings for the first time since 2014, which was also the year of the Warriors' last victory over Valley Center prior to Oct. 7. "It's a good feeling," Johnson said.

The Jaguars' 14-0 lead in the second quarter wasn't such a good feeling for Johnson and his players. "We didn't come out real sharp," Johnson said.

"Valley Center came out playing really well," Johnson said. "Valley Center, they executed a bit better than us."

The Jaguars scored their first seven points in the first period and their next touchdown in the second quarter. "We scored 42 straight after that," Johnson said. "We made some adjustments and started executing our run game better."

Fallbrook had two touchdowns in the second period, three in the third quarter, and one in the fourth period before the Jaguars scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion against Fallbrook substitutes. "We removed just about all of our starters," Johnson said.

All six of Fallbrook's touchdowns were on rushing plays. Chris Bausch scored on runs of 11, 57, 6, and 10 yards. "Bausch put together a few long runs for us to get tied up," Johnson said.

Ryan Farish scored the other two touchdowns on runs of 17 and 4 yards.

The Fallbrook starting offensive line of Sean Daley at left tackle, James Jones at left guard, Jayms McAlexander at center, Gabe Mendoza at right guard, and Gavin Miller at right tackle along with blocking by tight end Kaleb Collings and by Farish allowed the Warriors to gain 303 yards on the ground. Another 22 yards were gained on pass completions.

"We did not allow any sacks," Johnson said.

Fallbrook committed one turnover. On fourth down with four yards to go for a first down, Evan Thomas threw an interception, but the spot of the interception was for the Warriors preferable to where the spot of the ball would have been had the Warriors not succeeded in making the first down. "It actually gave us a little bit of field position," Johnson said.

Three Valley Center passes were intercepted by members of Fallbrook's defensive unit. Trent Pack had two of those interceptions and Corbin Coats also picked off a Jaguars pass. Thomas McSheehy recovered a Valley Center fumble.

"Happy that we were able to bounce back and recover," Johnson said.

"They don't lose their composure," Johnson said. "They don't get down on themselves."

The win gave the Warriors a 5-2 overall record along with their 2-0 figure in Valley League games. Valley Center dropped to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in Valley League matchups. Fallbrook's previous Valley League win was against Ramona, whose second consecutive Valley League win Oct. 7 gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 league record. San Pasqual and Rancho Buena Vista both had one league loss prior to Oct. 7, and San Pasqual won that game to give the Golden Eagles a 1-1 league record.

Escondido, whose Oct. 7 loss was to Ramona, will play at Fallbrook on Oct. 14 when the Warriors will need to maintain their lead in the league standings. "You've got to stay focused," Johnson said.


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