Taking a look at the highs and lows for Orange County’s teams and players in Week 3 of the football season.
Nate Bento, El Dorado: Bento threw for a career-high 430 yards with five passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in El Dorado’s 56-21 win over rival Valencia in the “Bell Game.”
Nathaniel Fiaputa, Bolsa Grande: The sophomore had 12 tackles and a sack in Bolsa Grande’s 42-14 win over Century. The Matadors are 3-1 for the first time in over 20 years.
Aaron Forsgren, Esperanza: Forsgren ran for a season-high 325 yards with five touchdowns and had a receiving touchdown in Esperanza’s 63-34 win over Dana Hills. Esperanza (2-2) has already matched its season win total from last season.
Jack McKelvy, El Toro: The sophomore quarterback completed 13 of 17 passes for 147 yards and ran for a touchdown in El Toro’s first win of the season against Diamond Bar. McKelvy was making his first varsity start replacing an injured Ben Armendariz.
Malik Peah, Garden Grove: Peah scored four touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown in the final 10 seconds of the game in a 49-47 win against Gahr.
Jackson Pellkofer, Calvary Chapel: Pellkofer caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Matt Peters in the final two minutes in Calvary Chapel’s 20-19 win over Carpinteria.
Ryan Reger, Fullerton: The senior quarterback threw for a career-high 285 yards with three touchdowns in a 28-7 win over Santa Fe.
Aliso Niguel’s defense: The Wolverines have shut out their last two opponents and have allowed only six points since their season-opening loss to Laguna Hills. USC baseball commit Jarett Sabol had three sacks against Woodbridge last Friday and Raidon Jones has recovered three fumbles in the last two games.
San Juan Hills’ offensive line: San Juan Hills ran for over 330 yards with three rushing touchdowns in a convincing 41-14 win over Newport Harbor. Tackle Trevor Newkirk (6-foot-7) leads the offensive line, which was dominant this week.
RELATED: Week 3’s stat leaders and top performers
The Sunset League: There are seasons where there is a solid case that the Sunset League is the best public school league in the county. Last week, Sunset League teams went 1-5 with Huntington Beach being the only team to get a win. There are still quality teams and players in the league, but it is not the best public school league in the county this season.
Valencia: Valencia has already eclipsed its win total from last season so things are looking up in Placentia, but the TIgers lost their third consecutive “Bell Game” to El Dorado in convincing fashion.
Music during game play: It seems the new addition to high school football the past few years is the professional DJ on the sidelines blaring music to drown out the PA announcer or the poor band. I’m not old enough yet to get upset about loud music, but the past two weeks I’ve been at games where the music is playing during game play and overpowering the wonderful sounds of high school football. Play the music before the game and at halftime. Let’s save the rest for the cheerleaders, student sections and marching bands.
HUNTLEY’S FINAL WORD ON WEEK 3
One thing I’ve noticed this year is how impactful quality coaching can be on a struggling football program. Marina struggled the past two seasons and is already making strides under respected coach Charlie TeGantvoort, who had a successful tenure at Santa Ana. Esperanza has its best team since 2019 under former Orange Lutheran coach JP Presley. Jae Kim has Brea Olinda on pace to make its first playoff appearance since 2019. There are a lot of steps it takes to build a strong football program, but the first one is to hire a good head coach and give him autonomy.
High school football: Orange County’s Week 3 stat leaders and top performers
OCVarsity football wrap-up: Stories, photos and scores from Friday’s Week 3 games