Michael Romo won't be receiving any style points, but that made little difference to him on Friday night.
On a series where Golden Valley's playoff hopes possibly hung in the balance, the 6-foot-3, 285-pound defensive tackle turned in one of GV's biggest plays to date.
Down 14-7 for most of the game, Atwater finally pieced together an offensive drive late in the fourth quarter.
A 4-yard run by Henry Tapia gave Atwater a first-and-goal at the Golden Valley 8 with just under two minutes to play.
Senior fullback Armando Garcia took the handoff on the very next play, and while trying to stiff-arm a GV defender, dropped the ball.
Romo was the first to react, belly flopping on the ball at the Golden Valley 16.
Atwater got one last shot, but never threatened as Chris Hoyos sacked quarterback Chris Osborn to end the game, preserving GV's 14-7 victory at Stadium '76.
"I'd like to say I was thinking scoop and six, but that probably wasn't going to happen," Romo said. "When I got about three yards away I decided to just fall on it and give the ball back to the offense.
"I figured if I dropped on it, no one else was going to have a chance."
The fumble was the cap on an already bad week for Atwater (0-2 Central California Conference, 0-7), which had to forfeit its lone win this season for playing with an ineligible player.
It also squandered another tremendous defensive effort by Bob Valladao's kids.
GV running back Tyler Arnsberg tweaked his knee before the game, prompting GV coach Jake Messina to make the call to only use the junior if necessary.
For the first two series of the game, it wasn't an issue.
Bryant Brown got GV (1-1 CCC, 5-2) on the board on the opening drive of the game, busting loose for a 43-yard touchdown run.
Quarterback Jerry Martinez ran the ball in from 1 yard out on GV's next possession to take a 14-0 lead.
Atwater made some adjustments, and GV barely moved the ball the rest of the game.
After running off 112 yards in its first two possessions, GV accumulated just 26 in the rest of the half.
The Atwater offense finally took advantage of its excellent field position when a bad snap forced GV punter Memo Ramirez to try and scramble in the second quarter.
Ramirez was hauled down at the GV 8 and Atwater's Brian Royal punched in a 3-yard TD run four plays later.
Atwater was even more dominant in the second half, holding GV to minus-11 yards.
The GV defense answered, forcing a pair of second-half fumbles and making Atwater turn it over on downs twice.
"I worked with a lot of the Atwater guys for years, so it was fun kind of exchanging defensive blow for blow," Messina said. "It was also a little scary.
"It's a win we had to have. We've beaten the teams we're supposed to, and one we weren't supposed to, but for us to claim we've arrived we have to win one of our last three games.
"If I can get what's going wrong up front fixed by then, we'll have a shot."