It's Bell Game week, and nothing more needs to be said to the Edison and Fountain Valley high football teams.
Nothing seems to rev up the passions of both squads, their respective schools and communities, more than this game. It will be played for the 43rd time at 7 p.m. Friday at Orange Coast College before what figures to be yet another full house at LeBard Stadium.
"It's the one game students from both schools go to," Edison Coach Dave White said. "People paint themselves, have a lot of spirit, and it's a game where records don't matter. This game's all about the emotion, the hype."
Edison, the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division, comes into the showdown sporting an overall record of 7-1, including 3-0 in the Sunset League. The Chargers are seeking another league title and can earn a portion of it with a win against the Barons.
Fountain Valley, meanwhile, heads in at 3-5 and 0-3 in league. White isn't fooled by that record, and knows the Barons will put it all on the line Friday.
"All five of their losses were close games, games in which they led," said White, who attended his first Edison-Fountain Valley game as an eighth-grade student and has been involved with almost every Bell Game since, either as a player or coach.
"They are probably the best 3-5 team in Orange County and are a play or two away from being 8-0," he said. "They are really good and last year, they gave us a battle to the end. Like I said, records don't matter heading into this game."
Fountain Valley Coach John Shipp, who will be involved in his ninth Bell Game, agrees.
"This game brings about an all-new energy, and new level of play," he said. "Both teams are highly motivated and the game is it's own element when the teams come together. That's what makes it such a great rivalry."
Edison set several schools records last week — including most points scored in one half, largest halftime lead, most points scored in a single game and widest margin of victory — in a 78-0 defeat of Marina.
Senior quarterback Aleksander Torgersen (13 of 22, 263 yards) tied a school record for touchdown passes with five, all coming in a first half that ended with the Chargers on top, 62-0. Senior receiver Aaron Vargas had two touchdown receptions, senior running back Marquis Ross had a touchdown reception and rushed for a score and senior linebacker Trenton Aschoff and sophomore defensive back Jake Favreau both scored on fumble returns.
Tanner Wakeham, a senior receiver/defensive back, had his first career reception in the win.
The Edison defense, which recovered four fumbles and intercepted four passes, posted its fourth shutout of the season and second in league play. The four shutouts tie a single-season school record held by the 1979, '86 and '88 teams.
Fountain Valley has been stung in its three league losses, including last week's 28-21 loss to fourth-ranked Los Alamitos. The Barons also suffered a three-point loss to Huntington Beach and a seven-point setback to Newport Harbor in league play. All five Baron losses came in games decided in the fourth quarter.
Against Los Al, senior quarterback Chris d'Entremont threw touchdown passes to senior receiver Jason Baker and sophomore receiver Ryan Finley, and senior back Wyatt Christensen rushed for a score
"It seems to be the theme for us these past three weeks," Shipp said of the heart-breaking losses. "It's all about finishing. The kids have played hard and have gotten after it, but we haven't been able to finish."
Edison is streaking in the Bell Game series. The Chargers have won seven in a row, including last year's 14-10 game, and have taken 10 of the last 12 meetings. Fountain Valley's last win (21-20) came in 2004. The Chargers lead the series, 27-14-1.
Marina (3-5, 0-3) vs. Newport Harbor (4-4, 2-1), 7 p.m., Newport Harbor High: Marina, which has found the going tough in Sunset League play, takes on a Newport Harbor team that has won its last two league outings.