After falling behind by two scores, the Fallbrook High football team turned on their mojo.
The Warriors scored 42 unanswered points and earned a 42-22 road victory over Valley Center in a key Valley League game on Friday night. Junior running back Chris Bausch scored four touchdowns and rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the season as Fallbrook (5-2, 2-0) took the driver’s seat in the league run.
“There were games where we started off slow but we know we can come back,” said Bausch, who scored two touchdowns just 48 seconds apart late in the first half before adding two. other points in the third quarter. “Since we were 3-1 we have liked our chances every time.”
Bausch finished with 193 yards on 19 carries before sitting out in the fourth quarter, giving him 1,106 yards on the season. Sean Farish added a pair of touchdowns to add to the mess of returning Valley Center, who was further hurt when Fallbrook defensive back Trent Pack had two interceptions on the Jags’ first two possessions in the second half. .
“The quarterback threw him up there, and he’s the one who got the highest,” said Pack, whose picks led to 6-yard TD runs by Bausch and 17-yard by Farish. “It’s the first time we’ve beaten Valley Center in a long time, but we can’t get too far ahead as we still have league games to play.”
Fallbrook’s last win over the Jaguars was in 2014, a 21-7 triumph at Valley Center, which was a signature statement for the Warriors in their last undefeated run to a Valley League championship.
It was the first year in the Valley League for the Warriors after being longtime members of the Avocado League, and the Jaguars had won seven straight over Fallbrook since then, all by convincing winning margins. Valley Center has won three straight league titles after sharing the crown with Fallbrook in 2015.
The Warriors kicked off this year’s league campaign with an impressive start with their 24-7 win over Ramona before dropping a non-league decision to Imperial Valley stalwart Brawley before heading to the Valley Center.
“We had a bit of a stressful start, but I’m glad we were able to recover,” Fallbrook coach Ross Johnson said. “We knew Valley Center was going to play tough.”
Valley Center (3-4, 2-1) started the championship game with a pair of road wins over San Pasqual and Escondido, but the Jaguars fielded just 26 players for the Fallbrook game.
“And I think we finished with 20 with all the injuries going on,” said longtime Valley Center coach Rob Gilster. “Every week is a league championship game for us. This Fallbrook team was a good freshman unit and Coach Johnson did a great job with them.
“We didn’t get any answers tonight.”
Valley Center picked up the momentum with a pair of Colton Paxton touchdown passes on two of the Jaguars’ first three possessions.
An Aiden Cuevas interception on Fallbrook’s first pass attempt of the night gave the hosts a first down on their own 47-yard line 3½ minutes into the game. The Valley Center offense converted two third downs and a fourth down before Paxton connected tight end Luke Stehly for a 4-yard touchdown pass on 13e practice game with 2:34 remaining in the opening period.
Two Fallbrook punts later, it was Keven Garcia who received three passes from Paxton, including a 22-yard TD reception after Garcia knocked down a pair of Fallbrook defenders to give the Jaguars a 14- 0 with 7:14 to go in the first half.
That’s when Bausch’s show began.
After an exchange of punts, the Warriors took possession in midfield and Bausch broke numerous tackles on a 31-yard run down the right side two plays before taking a direct snap and rumble 11 yards for the first Fallbrook score of the night with 2:49 left in the half.
Bausch scored again 48 seconds later after three passes from Valley Center resulted in no yardage, forcing another punt. On first down, Bausch rushed 57 yards down the right side for the tying score.
Paxton then had to be carried off the field with a right leg injury with 1:10 to go in the first half after taking a hard knock as he threw a pass. He was replaced by Jason Vasquez.
A partially blocked punt allowed the Warriors to go for a 25-yard field goal as time expired in the half, but the kick sailed wide to the right, leaving the score tied at 14-14. intermission.
It took the visitors less than four minutes into the third period to take a 28-14 lead after Pack interceptions, and the rest of the Warriors defense pulled off two more turnovers later in the second half to preserve victory.
Fallbrook 42, Center Valley 22
Fallbrook 0 14 21 7 — 42
Center Valley 7 7 0 8 — 22
RESUME – L. Stehly 4 Paxton pass (Rosario shot)
RESUME – Garcia 22 Pass from Paxton (Kick from Rosario)
F- Bausch 11 run (Gomez kick)
F- Bausch 57 run (Gomez kick)
F- Running Bausch 6 (run failed)
F- Farish Race 17 (Leon Race)
F- Bausch 10 run (Gomez kick)
F- Farish 4 run (Gomez kick)
RESUME – J. Stehly 2 run (pass Garcia de Vasquez)