NEWPORT BEACH — In a couple of weeks, Newport Harbor High Coach Jeff Brinkley turns 60. He has spent almost half of his life with the Sailors.
During his 27 years in charge of the program, Brinkley has experienced a lot in football.
He added another note to his long resume on Friday night and it's something he's not proud of as the coach.
For the first time during Brinkley's career, his Sailors have begun the season winless in their first two games for the second straight year.
The Sailors not only lost at home to Los Angeles Loyola, 42-7, they suffered their most lopsided loss at Davidson Field to a nonleague opponent during Brinkley's tenure.
Newport Harbor also lost its starting quarterback to an injury right before halftime. Zach Wade tried to make plays for the Sailors, who produced none during the first half.
While the Sailors jogged into their locker room down, 28-0, Wade was on crutches. Brinkley said Wade hurt his foot.
The senior used those feet to scramble on three consecutive plays late in the first half, only to go down for losses each time. The time Wade got near the line of scrimmage, he paid for it as Loyola knocked him out of the game.
Loyola's defense harassed Wade, sacking him four times and only allowing him to complete four of nine passes for 46 yards. The Cubs finished with seven sacks overall, helping them start the season 3-0 for the second straight year.
Brinkley's team is still looking for its first victory. Next is the Battle of the Bay at home against rival Corona del Mar. The Sea Kings went into this week ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division poll.
"We don't have any must-win games," said Brinkley, whose team plays its next two games at home. "We have must-get-better games.
"We got a lot of areas we need to clean up. I'm the head coach and I'll take responsibility [and] hopefully get it straightened out."
The Sailors, ranked No. 9 in the Southwest Division, never really had a chance to win their first game. They couldn't stop Loyola's ground game, which amassed 325 yards and four touchdowns.
Brinkley knew all about the Cubs' top tailback, Wyatt Bradford, and his seven rushing touchdowns going into the game. Bradford added two more touchdowns, including a 64-yarder in the third quarter.
The senior rushed 15 times for 130 yards. The Sailors' running back, Talalelei Teaupa, led all rushers with 165 yards.
Teaupa, who carried the ball 25 times, was Newport Harbor's lone bright spot on offense. He recorded the team's lone touchdown, coming on a three-yard run midway through the third quarter.
The score prevented Loyola from shutting out the Sailors for the second consecutive season.
"We ran the ball a lot better tonight," said Brinkley, whose team rushed for only 66 yards in its 27-21 season-opening loss to Trabuco Hills last week.
Loyola's quarterback was on fire.
Patrick Finnegan finished 12-of-14 passing with 130 yards and two touchdowns. The senior completed his first 10 passes.
His first incompletion was a result of him spiking the ball to stop the clock before time expired in the first half.
The Cubs failed to score again before halftime.
They didn't really have to as they were in control of the game.
Loyola 42, Newport Harbor 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Loyola 14 – 14 – 7 – 7 – 42
Newport Harbor 0 – 0 – 7 – 0 – 7
L – Bradford 4 run (Dopke kick), 6:08.
L – Evans 19 run (Dopke kick), 1:19.
L – Neuheisel 12 pass from Finnegan (Dopke kick), 6:02.
L – Sheffie 9 pass from Finnegan (Dopke kick), 2:28.
NH – Teaupa 3 run (Schultz kick), 5:42.
L – Bradford 64 run (Dopke kick), 3:58.
L – Walker 18 run (Dopke kick), 6:44.
L – Bradford, 15-130, 2 TDs.
NH – Teaupa, 25-165, 1 TD.
L – Finnegan, 12-14-0, 130, 2 TDs.
NH – Wade, 4-9-0, 46.
L – Neuheisel, 3-39, 1 TD.
NH – Gyulay, 3-25.