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August 22, 2014

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Middlebrooks lifts Fountain Valley to 49-14 rout

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Cydney Cappello

The Foothill High School Falcons rush the field for their first home game of the season on Friday. The Falcons hosted the Fountain Valley High School Barons, from Fountain Valley, Calif.

Fountain Valley defeats Foothill, 49-14

The Falcons' tuba section greets the team as it rushes the field Friday. Launch slideshow »

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Back in 1976, an aspiring actress named Michelle Pfeiffer became the most famous alum of California's Fountain Valley High School, although she couldn't have known it at the time.

Foothill High could have used the Fabulous Baker Boys against her alma mater Friday night.

In keeping with that theme, Fountain Valley's Kyle Middlebrooks proved to be a Dangerous Liaison, rushing for 144 yards and three touchdowns and scoring a fourth touchdown on a 66-yard screen pass as the visitors from the Golden State routed the Falcons 49-14 at Foothill.

"That's just a good football team from top to bottom and they've got a ton of team speed," said Foothill coach Marty Redmond, whose team is coming off a 2-7 season following a long run of playoff appearances.

The Falcons are expected to be much better this year but they'll have to wait at least another week to show it. While Foothill was nearly as big as Fountain Valley, which plays in the prestigious Sunset League in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), it wasn't nearly as quick.

Then there was Middlebrooks, who looked like a Ferrari among Buicks.

The Falcons did a nice job containing him early, at least when he was running with the ball. But after Middlebrooks turned an innocent appearing middle screen into a 66-yard sprint to the end zone for the game's first score, it was apparent he had a top gear that Foothill couldn't match.

"That's as good a back as we'll see all year," Richmond said.

Middlebooks, who is only a junior but already is being courted by UCLA, Oregon and Arizona of the Pac-10, was the difference in the game. But Foothill made his job easier when it couldn't move the ball early. Three of Fountain Valley's first four possessions began on Foothill's side of the field, and the other originated at the 50-yard line.

"Field position wins games," said John Shipp, the Fountain Valley coach. "Last year, we were on the other end of it."

Redmond said it's hard to defend a short field against any team, much less one as good as Fountain Valley.

"Then when we got some momentum building, we couldn't make a big play," he said.

He was right about that. Foothill's longest run from scrimmage was 9 yards; its longest pass play went for 15 yards. While Aaron Dupin will probably turn into an outstanding quarterback, his first six passes fell incomplete. He finished 6 of 16 for 53 yards with an interception.

Still, the Falcons were kinda, sorta still in the game midway through the second quarter. Fountain turned the ball over deep in its own end and Algeron Sewell, who led Foothill with 63 rushing yards on 19 carries, slammed in from the 1 to trim the deficit to 21-7.

But the Barons answered back on Middlebooks' 5-yard scoring run, and it was more of the same in the second half. Fountain stretched the lead to 49-7 before Sewell's 9-yard run with a little more than three minutes to play gave the Falcons a little something to hang their helmets on.

In the final analysis, the only statistics that favored the Falcons were turnovers and penalties. Foothill turned the ball over just once while Fountain had two turnovers and botched a couple of snaps from center. Plus, the Barons were flagged 11 times for 95 yards and had a long interception return for a touchdown nullified by a penalty.

But even Michelle Pfeiffer flubs her lines now and then.

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