The Corona del Mar High football team's three straight postseason shutouts heading into Saturday's CIF Southern Section Southern Division title game against Garden Grove stirred my curiosity about the stingiest defenses in Newport-Mesa history.
The Sea Kings have four shutouts in 13 games this season, but have allowed 160 points on the field. Neither rank among the elite numbers produced by the best the area has had to offer.
Among the least-forgiving defenses in Newport-Mesa annals:
Estancia in 1989 – The Eagles (10-1) had six shutouts and allowed just 47 points in 11 games, an average of 4.273 points per game.
Newport Harbor in 1935 – The Sailors (4-3-1) had five shutouts in eight games, in which they allowed only 33 points (4.125 per contest).
Newport Harbor in 1944 – The Tars (4-2-1) had just three shutouts, but surrendered only 32 points in the abbreviated season (4.571 per game).
Corona del Mar's 1988 CIF championship team (12-0-2) had five shutouts and allowed 82 points in 14 games (a 5.857 per-game average).
Costa Mesa's best defense came in 1997, when the Mustangs (10-2) had five shutouts and allowed 81 points in 12 games (6.75 per game).
It's worth noting that Sage Hill School has produced just five shutouts in its 11-season history.
The Sea Kings (11-2) have scored 400 points this season, which does put them into rarefied air when it comes to Newport-Mesa productivity.
In 13 games, thus far, CdM is averaging 30.77 points per game. It becomes one of eight Newport-Mesa squads to reach the 400-point plateau.
The Newport-Mesa record for most points in one season goes to Newport Harbor with 493 in 14 games in 1996. That's 35.21 per game, which is even more impressive considering the Sailors (12-2) were blanked in the CIF Southern Section Division V title game by a Santa Margarita unit that included future
Each Newport-Mesa school has had at least one 400-plus year, three of which came in 2011.
Costa Mesa had 469 points in 11 games last season for a Newport-Mesa record 42.64 per contest. The Mustangs went 8-3.
CdM scored a school-record 476 points on its way to the CIF title last season, posting an average of 34 per game to help foster a 12-2 record.
Estancia scored a school-record 410 last season, when it used the 31.54 per-game windfall to finish 10-3.
Sage Hill recorded 406 points in 2005 when it went 9-2 with a 36.90 per-game scoring average.
Newport Harbor reached the section final, but won only one title in its two additional 400-plus seasons.
The 1999 Sailors won the CIF Division VI crown and finished 13-1 by scoring 442 points, an average of 31.57 per contest.
In their section runner-up season of 2000, the Tars (11-3) scored 403 points.
Should CdM top the Argos (11-2) in the 2 p.m. contest at
Those teams include CdM's 12-2 CIF champions of 2011, as well as the Sea Kings' 12-0-2 CIF title winners in 1988.
Newport Harbor teams of 1994 (14-0), 1999 (13-0-1), 1996 (12-2) and 2004 (12-1-1) have also celebrated at least a dozen triumphs.
A victory would also give CdM four section titles, tops among Newport-Mesa football programs.