NEWPORT BEACH — Most of the names of Corona del Mar High's football players didn't match the numbers on the roster.
The program handed out to fans before the Sea Kings opened the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs on Thursday featured last year's team. It was an honest mistake.
But make no mistake about it – this year's group is playing a lot like the one last year did for CdM.
The Sea Kings are now three wins away from mirroring what CdM accomplished last season – winning a Southern Division title. Top-seeded CdM took care of business in the first round, blanking Anaheim, 35-0, on a wet night at Newport Harbor High.
Shutting out an opponent in the opening round is a first for the Sea Kings in 23 years. Back in 1989, CdM went on to claim its second straight section title.
The way CdM is playing, it doesn't look like any team can stop it from going back-to-back again.
Next for the Sea Kings (9-2) is the quarterfinals. The opponent will be the winner of Friday's game between Los Amigos (7-3) and Estancia (7-3).
Coach Scott Meyer knows a little bit about Estancia. Before the season, CdM scrimmaged the Eagles, a semifinalist last year.
The Sea Kings' playoff opener turned out to be a scrimmage in the second quarter. They seemed to be on offense the entire time during the 12 minutes of action.
After a scoreless first quarter, CdM produced 28 points in the second. The first touchdown came 30 seconds into the quarter, on a five-yard run up the middle by tailback Kai Wilson.
The next two CdM touchdowns were set up after Anaheim failed to field a kickoff and an onside kick. The mistakes led to the Sea Kings getting the ball in their opponent's territory and scoring twice in a 13-second span.
Cole Martin was the beneficiary as he found the end zone for the Sea Kings after each mistake on special teams by Anaheim, the third-place team from the Orange League. He scored first on a one-yard run, and then on a 43-yard catch.
Martin finished with 155 yards on nine catches, great numbers for a running back. The sophomore entered the game with just 10 catches for 92 yards and one touchdown.
The Colonists (5-6) never seemed to adjust to the bubble passes Cayman Carter threw to Martin.
"It's an easy throw and catch," Meyer said, "and once Cole gets the ball, he's usually going to do something good with it."
For the fourth straight game, whoever Carter has passed the ball to has produced. The senior quarterback has thrown 10 touchdown passes and only one interception in his last four outings.
One week after firing a career-high four touchdowns, helping the Sea Kings finish as undefeated Pacific Coast League champions, Carter finished with 277 yards and two touchdowns on 20-of-30 passing. The completions are a career best for Carter.
Carter has done it all during the Sea Kings' seven-game winning streak. During the first four games, he averaged almost 110 yards on the ground.
He has let the ball fly recently. Midway through the second quarter, Carter hit wide receiver Chris Johnstone for a four-yard touchdown pass.
Carter almost recorded a third touchdown before halftime. He spiked the ball to stop the clock with four seconds left on Anaheim's 35-yard line. From there, Carter found a receiver in the end zone, but the pass fell incomplete.
The missed connection didn't matter. The defense stuffed whatever Anaheim tried to do, giving up only 140 yards of offense.
The Sea Kings were on their way to shutting out Anaheim in the playoffs for the second time in three years, by the exact same score, just with a different roster.
CIF Southern Section
Corona del Mar 35, Anaheim 0
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Anaheim 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0
Corona del Mar 0 – 28 – 0 – 7 – 35
CdM – Wilson 5 run (Amies kick), 11:30.
CdM – Martin 1 run (Amies kick), 10:34.
CdM – Martin 43 pass from Carter (Amies kick), 10:21.
CdM – Johnstone 4 pass from Carter (Amies kick), 5:41.
CdM – Hugh Crance 17 run (Amies kick), 11:04.
A – Alonzo, 6-25.
CdM – Wilson, 8-83, 1 TD.
A – Guidry, 4-5-0, 28.
CdM – Carter, 20-30-0, 277, 2 TDs.
A – Tafoya, 1-9.
CdM – Martin, 9-155, 1 TD.