By LOU PONSI
The Orange County Register
PLACENTIA - The El Dorado High football team suffered its share of heartbreaking defeats during the 2005 season, including a down-to-the-wire loss to crosstown rival Valencia. The way the Golden Hawks played Friday, there was no chance of that happening again.
El Dorado executed its game plan to near perfection from its first drive and went on to a 38-0 nonleague victory over the Tigers at Valencia High.
The Golden Hawks (3-1) take the Championship Bell trophy back from Valencia (2-2), where it had been for the past three years. "I think the kids were excited about the rivalry," El Dorado coach Jeff Bailey said. "I knew that if we played well, we'd have a chance of winning." El Dorado quarterback Michael Coulter completed 10 of 17 passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns, all to Matt Cardenas.
Coulter hit Cardenas with a 22-yard scoring pass on El Dorado's first drive of the game. Coulter and Cardenas later connected on touchdowns of 9 and 32 yards. "The whole team felt good and we were confident going in," said Coulter, who missed his junior season because of surgery on both knees. "It's just awesome. It's just a blessing to be able to play. Valencia was never able to settle into a rhythm offensively, partly because running back Wes Fletcher, who was averaging 178.9 yards going into the game, was held to 40. Fletcher carried the ball only once in the second half before being taken out of the game.
Three Valencia drives were also thwarted by interceptions. Justin Ditolla, Kyle Allen and Cameron Davilla had picks for El Dorado. After Coulter's first two touchdown passes, Clay Leyton scooped up a fumble and ran it in for a 2-yard touchdown giving the Golden Hawks a 21-0 lead. With 8:30 remaining in the second quarter, Valencia put together a nice drive and had a chance to get back in the game before the half. The Tigers drove from their 23 to the El Dorado 12 and faced a third-and-9 when quarterback Marcus Beckman was sacked by Anthony Laurenzi for a 6-yard loss. Beckman threw an incompletion on fourth down. Valencia managed only four first downs in the second half, and drove inside Golden Hawks territory only once. The Tigers play host to Sonora on Thursday and the Golden Hawks play Sunny Hills at Buena Park High on Friday.
El Dorado 7 14 17 0 - 38
Valencia 0 0 0 0 - 0
ED - Cardenas 22 pass from Coulter (Hilgenberg kick)
ED - Cardenas 9 pass from Coulter (Hilgenberg kick)
ED - Leyton 2 fumble return (Hilgenberg kick)
ED - Hilgenberg 30 FG
ED - Cardenas 32 pass from Coulter (Hilgenberg kick)
ED - Adams 27 run (Hilgenberg kick)
Rushing - ED, Adams 5-34, Van Holland 12-41; Val, Fletcher 15-40, Howell 10-45
Passing- ED, Coulter 10-17-0-130, Wilson 1-1-0-2; Val, Beckman 8-18-3-71, Pina 1-3-0-9
Receiving- ED, Cardenas 6-89, Gartner 1-17; Val, Zamora 4-41, von Zabern 2-15
Records:ED 0-0, 3-1; Val 0-0, 2-2