Corona del Mar High moved closer to finishing unbeaten in the Pacific Coast League for the second time in three football seasons.
The Sea Kings shut out host Irvine, 41-0, Thursday to improve to 3-0 in league play. With two league games left, CdM is in first place and ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division.
The Sea Kings (6-2), have alienated each of their first three league opponents, outscoring them, 132-34.
CdM plays host to Woodbridge (4-4, 2-1) Friday at Newport Harbor High at 7 p.m. Woodbridge shares second place in league with Northwood (3-5, 2-1).
After the Irvine game, Coach Scott Meyer reminded his Sea Kings that the Warriors were picked to win the league title before the season.
With a win against Woodbridge, the Sea Kings can clinch at least a share of the league crown.
Newport Harbor finds itself one game out of first place in the Sunset League and closer to making it back to the playoffs.
The host Sailors rallied Friday to beat Huntington Beach, 20-17, for their second straight league triumph.
The victories have been close, each by fewer than seven points, and they have put Newport Harbor (4-4, 2-1 in league) in the driver seat to clinch one of the league's three guaranteed CIF Southern Section Southwest Division playoff berths.
The Sailors are tied for second with Los Alamitos (6-2, 2-1) and Huntington Beach (4-4, 2-1). They hold the head-to-head advantage with the Oilers.
Next for Newport Harbor, ranked No. 8 in the Southwest Division, is a home game against Marina (3-5, 0-3) on Thursday at 7 p.m. Since the Sailors returned to the Sunset League six years ago, they have not lost to Marina.
The Sailors close out league play against Los Alamitos at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach on Nov. 1.
The big game this week is Huntington Beach at home against Los Alamitos. If the Griffins win, Huntington Beach is most likely out of the race for one of the league's three playoff entries.
The Oilers would then need one of the Southwest Division's two at-large playoff berths.
Estancia was able to earn a much-needed 34-18 victory over Godinez on Friday at Segerstom High. The victory lifted the Eagles (5-3, 2-1) into a second-place tie in the Orange Coast League with the Grizzlies.
Coach Mike Bargas is concerned, however, about a barrage of injuries that continued Friday. Bargas said senior center Alex Lopez and senior lineman/kicker Dan Cabrera both suffered ankle injuries, though Cabrera maintained his kicking duties throughout the game.
Bargas said junior Mark Velasquez moved to center. With the Eagles also without offensive lineman/linebacker Adahir Aguilera (knee) on Friday, Bargas said sophomores Brian Southwick and Michael Hubbard have been playing extensively on the offensive line. Lopez and Aguilera were the two returning starters this year on the offensive line.
The line appeared to handle the adjustments just fine, giving quarterback Brad Wilson ample time to throw and allowing senior tailback Robert Murtha to rush for 167 yards and one touchdown.
"[Lopez] has been our mainstay, so we had to move Velasquez," Bargas said. "It's all been band-aided and duct-taped up ... We've got a lot of guys banged up. I just feel like we're a little snake-bitten on the injuries, but it's always nice to come out with a win."
The Costa Mesa High offense had not only its most productive night of the season in Friday's 58-12 Orange Coast League home win over Saddleback, but also its most efficient.
The Mustangs (3-5, 1-2 in league) scored on all nine possessions and averaged nearly 64 yards on eight touchdown drives.
They had 10 rushing plays of 10 yards or more, including Oronde Crenshaw jaunts of 61 and 55 yards, the former for a touchdown. Erick Diaz also had a 64-yard scoring run.
Of Mesa's five pass completions, two were touchdown bombs of 59 and 30 yards and the Mustangs produced double-digit points in every quarter.
Sage Hill Coach J.R. Tolver missed Thursday's Academy League opener against Brethren Christian for the birth of his baby boy, defensive coordinator Greg Taylor said.
If Tolver reviews the tape he will see that the Lightning (0-8), though overmatched, were fairly competitive early in the 42-13 loss at Ocean View High. Down, 14-0, early in the second quarter, they got the ball to the Brethren Christian 27-yard line before fumbling. Their next possession, the Lightning drove to the Brethren Christian 35 before turning the ball over on downs.
Sage, which fell behind, 27-0, at halftime, was forced to pass often. Sophomore quarterback CJ McCord, in his second game back from a broken elbow, completed 18 of 43 passes for 256 yards.
CdM tailback Kai Wilson surpassed 100 rushing yards and had one touchdown for the third consecutive game.
The senior is averaging almost 10 yards per carry during the stretch.
Wilson has bounced back from Achilles and ankle injuries that forced him to miss two games early in the season.
Newport Harbor tailback Talalelei Teaupa cracked the 1,000-yard rushing mark Friday.
Teaupa finished with 183 yards on 32 carries, giving the senior 1,049 for the season. He leads the Sunset League in rushing yards. The closest to him is Huntington Beach quarterback Kai Ross (650).
Estancia can clinch a CIF Southern Division playoff berth by defeating Saddleback on Friday at Jim Scott Stadium.
Saddleback (1-2 in league) is coming off a 58-12 loss to Costa Mesa.
The playoff berth would be the Eagles' fourth straight, and fifth in Bargas' six-year tenure.
Costa Mesa's offensive production came despite what continues to be a makeshift line, Coach Wally Grant said.
"We have had our original starting line only one game this season," Grant said before Friday's contest. "And that was Los Amigos [a 40-14 nonleague win Sept. 13]."
Grant said tight end Anthony McCormick, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior who had been a leading component to the Mustangs' heavily used pitch play, missed the Saddleback game with a ruptured bursa sack in one of his knees.
The five Mesa starters, tackle-to-tackle, average just 5-9, 212 pounds and the three interior blockers stood 5-6, 5-7 and 5-8. The Saddleback defensive front four averaged 6-0, 222.
Sage Hill got production from senior receiver Zuriel Aaron, who had four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown, which went for 13 yards on fourth-and-goal, was a nice grab.
Taylor said Aaron, who is listed at running back and defensive end, missed time earlier in the season with a high-ankle sprain.
"We've been expecting a lot out of him," Taylor said. "I guess he came on really strong last year, toward the end of the year. With him being hurt, you've seen very little of him, but tonight I think you saw what 'Z' brings to this team. He's a great football player."
CdM senior standout defensive end Tim Reinhardt, who missed the previous game with a hip issue, made a difference in the Sea Kings blanking Irvine for the second straight year.
Reinhardt finished with 1.5 sacks as CdM's defense produced its first shutout of the season.
The Sea Kings also recovered three fumbles. The first two resulted in touchdowns and CdM ran out the clock after collecting the third.
Estancia quarterback Brad Wilson returned from a groin injury Friday and he hooked up with familiar targets Ben Beck and Henry Vasquez, as well as a new one.
The new one is senior Tyler Rios, who caught two passes for 38 yards. Rios, who wears No. 6, is not listed on the Estancia roster but Wilson said he has returned to football.
"Rios was with us our freshman year, and I've been trying to get him back for the last four years," Wilson said. "I'm glad that he decided to come back out for his senior year. I told him we'd use him, and we used him tonight."
Rios is better known at Estancia as a baseball shortstop. He was a first-team All-Orange Coast League selection last year and is a two-time Daily Pilot Dream Team selection.
Costa Mesa junior Oronde Crenshaw, who played primarily fullback the first half of the season, carried 23 times for a season-best 266 yards and four touchdowns from the tailback spot Friday.
Rushing yards aren't the only category in which he has topped the 200 plateau. Heading into the Saddleback game, he had 201 tackles in a varsity career that began in 2011.
The 58-12 margin for Costa Mesa on Friday made it a combined 119-12 windfall against Saddleback the last two seasons. It's the most points against the same school in back-to-back seasons in Costa Mesa history. The previous mark was 114, in 2010 and 2011 against La Quinta and in 1993 and 1994 against Laguna Beach.
Sage Hill was unable to slow down Brethren Christian junior quarterback Jack McInally, who completed 22 of 33 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns.
McInally added to his own Brethren Christian single-season record for touchdown passes, which is now at 28.
McInally's father, Pat, is the Brethren head coach. Pat McInally was an NFL punter for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1976-85, and also played some receiver. McInally, who went to Harvard, is also known as the only player to ever record a perfect score on the Wonderlic test.