REDLANDS – The routine is familiar to Ronnie Fouch. Fouch, on the Thursday before a Friday night football game, will have a steak dinner with his family, complete with a salad and baked potato. The sports-minded clan includes father John, the athletic director at Sacred Heart Academy in Redlands; mother Rhonda, the Redlands East Valley High School athletic director; and sister Johnna, an eighth-grade club volleyball whiz who attends Sacred Heart. After eating, Ronnie will retreat to his bedroom, where he carefully has laid out well-wishing notes from his family members and favorite Bible verses such as Philippians 4:13: “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week That inner strength allowed the Redlands East Valley junior to charge onto the University of Redlands field last Friday night to lead the Wildcats against rival Redlands before 7,200 in the Smudge Pot game. REV prevailed 27-12, with Fouch completing 25-of-33 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns. This Friday at Eisenhower, he will try to do the same against the Eagles. “Ronnie is a very faith-driven kid,” Rhonda Fouch said. “He has his pregame routine that is the result of him attending Sacred Heart Academy from (kindergarten) through eighth grade.” Like a couple of renowned Catholic quarterbacks – Joe Montana and Tom Brady – Ronnie has an other-worldly knack for coming through in the clutch. Some of the feats he has performed on the field at the prep level have been downright Montana- or Brady-like. Against Murrieta Valley, on Sept. 17 of last year, he threw two touchdown bombs to wide receiver Isaiah Burel in the final one minute, 29 seconds to give REV a 21-21 tie. The final pass came on the last play of the game, a 47-yard “Hail Mary” heave to Burel, who out-leaped three defenders in the end zone. Against Eisenhower, on Oct. 23 of last year, he accomplished the near impossible. Trailing Ike by three points, REV got the ball at its 35 with 25 seconds left. He hit Austin Bean on a 49-yard strike with eight ticks left. Then he rolled to the right and arched a pass to all-county wideout Lance Evbuomwan in the corner of the end zone. Evbuomwan out-jumped a defender and tumbled out of the end zone with the winning catch. Ronnie recently showed up for an interview in the REV team room, looking unimposing and boyish in a red USC T-shirt and black knee-length shorts. He recalled that memorable comeback against Eisenhower. “We were down against Ike, but we executed at the end and our offensive linemen did their jobs and Lance made an unbelievable catch,” Ronnie said. “It wasn’t the greatest pass.” More than any one pass, REV coach Kurt Bruich appreciated his quarterback’s mindset. As Ike was driving for a late touchdown to go ahead, Ronnie was on the sideline already warming up. “In his mind he was already saying, ‘If they score, then we’re going to score.’ ” Bruich said. “Not too many kids that age have that kind of poise and character.” An understated 16-year-old who is almost too good to be true, Ronnie attends Sacred Heart Church every Sunday with teammates like Andrew Sidor and Nick Wells. Soon Ronnie will be confirmed, a rite of passage in the Catholic church. “Ronnie has a lot of faith, but he’s quiet about it and doesn’t preach,” said proud papa John Fouch, the former Redlands High School and University of Redlands quarterback. “He keeps it to himself.” As for Ronnie’s talent, it’s out there for all to see. This season he has passed for 1,292 yards and 18 touchdowns, completing 88 of 144 passes (61 percent) with only one interception. Two Fridays ago he riddled A.B. Miller for 201 yards and three touchdowns. “He’s awfully good,” Miller coach John Tyree said. “They’re a passing team and, if you blitz them, he immediately knows where the blitz is coming from and throws there. He’s been well-schooled by someone.” Added Redlands coach Jim Walker: “Ronnie has really grown up and is running that offense well. He’s doing a better job of getting rid of the ball and not taking the big sack. “He’s an intelligent kid with his life in order and his faith and all of the positive things a young man can have.” Besides ability and a strong personal foundation, the athletic lineage is there. Ronnie’s grandfather John played running back for USC and passed down the sporting genes to his son John. Ronnie’s dad was a star at Redlands High School, who helped the Terriers to a victory against Fontana as a junior in 1974. But as a senior, the John Tyree-coached Steelers edged the Terriers to become the first Fohi team to defeat Redlands. “I coached against the dad in ’75,” Tyree said. “The dad was good, but Ronnie is better.” Tyree’s assessment gave John Fouch pause. “Ronnie doesn’t run, whereas I was partly a running quarterback,” he said. “Back then the CBL was called the black-and-blue league. It was mostly running. We threw 15 times a game and that was a lot. “Ronnie is better coached. His quarterback coach, Boyd Lium, has done a great job. Things are a lot more sophisticated now with all of the reading of coverages. Back when I played, you’d send a guy on a curl route and just drill it to him.” By contrast, the REV quarterback operates a high-tech spread that sends three and four receivers on routes. Ronnie has to process information quickly, making his reads in an instant and throwing to the open man. His active and sharp mind (he has a 3.7 grade point average) aids him. He showed his ability last Friday night in the first half against Redlands, driving the team 75 yards to score with one second left in the half on a 27-yard pass to Evbuomwan. That score was vital, giving REV a 13-12 lead. Bruich said his junior QB has good speed, but could be quicker. Otherwise, he is not complaining. “He was born to be a quarterback,” the fourth-year REV coach said. “There are a lot of things he does that not many high school kids do. What he can do mentally has allowed our offense to evolve.” Which is not to say that Ronnie hasn’t struggled occasionally. After another tie with Murrieta Valley this season, he apologized to the team for his performance, taking the blame for the outcome. In the playoffs last season he was under siege by Lakewood defenders, swarmed under repeatedly before he could deliver the ball. It was a learning experience and a letdown. “It was sort of a confidence-shattering thing,” Ronnie said. “I started looking at the rush instead of my receivers. I should have been trying to make a play.” The REV star bounced back and is making plays now. This Friday night, bolstered by his unshakable faith, he will try to make some more. THE FOUCH FILE Name: Ronnie Fouch School: REV Position: Quarterback Year: JuniorNotable: Mother Rhonda is a native of Hawaii who played basketball and volleyball at the University of Redlands. … Is proud of his Hawaiian heritage, having attended a Hawaiian cultural camp after fifth grade at Rhonda’s alma mater, Kamehameha High School. … Middle name is “Kainoa” which means “unrestricted, free-flowing water.” … Played AYSO soccer with current teammates Andrew Sidor and Tyler Banta and against big REV lineman Carl Wilson (6-5, 280). … Was MVP of the REV freshman and junior varsity basketball teams and will play on varsity this season. … Enjoys surfing. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!