Fallbrook 21, Valley Center 7
The Fallbrook Warriors advanced Friday night to the top of the Valley League standings without any company, as they defeated the Valley Center Jaguars 21-7.
As they have done most of the season, the Warriors (5-2, 2-0 Valley League) again capitalized on the strong rushing game of their go-to halfback — senior Roberto Ramirez — rebounding from a quick 7-0 deficit to score 21 unanswered points with Ramirez a factor in nearly every drive.
The Jaguars (3-4, 1-1 Valley League) opened the game’s scoring on a 77-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Rhett Reilly to Daniel DeLeon. It was the second straight game in which DeLeon scored at least one touchdown as a receiver instead of as a quarterback, which was the position at which he had started in each of the Jaguars’ first five games.
But Ramirez helped the Warriors knot the score in the second quarter on a 9-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Landon Benner. Ramirez would later in the fourth quarter put the final touch on Fallbrook’s offensive output, with a 30-yard run to set up his own 5-yard touchdown and a 21-7 Fallbrook lead. Between Ramirez’ scores, Fallbrook running back James Nicholas helped set up the other Warriors touchdown with his 58-yard run in the third quarter, which was followed several plays later by a 1-yard keeper by Benner into the end zone.
For Fallbrook Coach Kyle Williams, the win meant everything as a set-up to a potential Valley League championship. He said earlier in the week that if the Warriors couldn’t win against Valley Center — that if the Jaguars proved themselves to be a better team — Fallbrook shouldn’t expect a league title.
“What it comes down to is, we’re just going to play defense fundamentally sound, and if we can beat them, we can, and if we can’t, we don’t deserve to be league champs,” Williams said Tuesday.
The seven points allowed by the Warriors to Valley Center Friday was the smallest point total allowed by the team since its Week 2 55-0 win over Serra. The Warriors will return home Oct. 24 for another Valley League game against the San Pasqual Golden Eagles (1-6, 1-1). Valley Center will host the Rancho Buena Vista Longhorns (1-6) in a non-league match-up.