Corona del Mar High picked up where it left off … since the fifth game of the 2012 season.
The Sea Kings reeled off their 27th straight win, shutting out Carlsbad La Costa Canyon, 38-0, in the Under Armour Brothers in Arms Classic opener at San Diego Cathedral Catholic on Friday.
Corona del Mar's winning streak is currently the best in the state, and it stands alone as the sixth longest in Orange County history. The Sea Kings shared the No. 6 spot with Los Alamitos and Mission Viejo. St. Margaret's 44-game winning streak ranks No. 1 in county history.
The last team to beat CdM was Capistrano Valley, coming on Sept. 21, 2012. The Sea Kings (1-0) look for their 28th straight victory on Thursday, when they play host to Dana Hills (0-1) at Davidson Field at 7 p.m. Dana Hills opened the season last week at home with a 20-14 loss to Tustin.
•Peter Bush's debut as CdM's starting quarterback turned out well.
The junior completed his first five passes, including a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Bo St. Geme 2 minutes into the game. With CdM up, 10-0, Meyer replaced Bush with sophomore Chase Garbers. That was by design.
Coach Scott Meyer planned to give Garbers a look in the offense's third and sixth series. Garbers' first time on the field began a little shaky. Before running a play on first down, on La Costa Canyon's 44 with 4:27 left in the first quarter, the Sea Kings called a timeout. Then the first two plays went for negative yards, before Garbers connected with receiver Dylan Tucker on a five-yard pass.
Bush returned for the fourth series, engineering a six-play, 74-yard scoring drive early in the second quarter. Bush completed each of his three passes, and he capped off the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run up the middle.
"I thought he played great," Meyer said of Bush, who finished 14 of 20 for 176 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed seven times for 21 yards.
Bush is the starting quarterback, but Meyer wants to see what Garbers has to offer.
Garbers, who only threw once, showed Meyer something late in the first half. He rushed for a three-yard touchdown in his second stint. He started the offense's third drive in the third quarter as well.
Garbers might see time in CdM's home opener against Dana Hills.
•Corona del Mar's defense and specials teams looked superb against a CIF San Diego Section Division 1 program.
With 10 starters back, the defensive unit sacked the quarterback four times, picked him off twice, allowed him to complete only 45 percent of his passes, and held La Costa Canyon to 70 rushing yards. Defensive end Parker Chase produced two sacks and outside linebacker Hugh Crance had two interceptions.
On special teams, Daniel Bjurman showed off his foot and toughness.
The senior pinned the Mavericks inside their 10-yard line twice with punts, and booted three of his five touchbacks out of the end zone. When La Costa Canyon returned one of his kickoffs, Bjurman stripped the returner of the ball near midfield and CdM came up with one of its three turnovers.
Brett Greenlee made sure CdM recorded its ninth shutout in the last 27 games. He came off the edge and blocked a 42-yard field-goal attempt early in the fourth quarter.
Jason Neiger converted a 27-yard field midway through the second quarter.
•It took eight carries for tailback Cole Martin to break a long run.
With a new starting offensive line, featuring left tackle Jack Pagliassotti, left guard Joe Anderson, center Bryan Samudro, right guard Arwin Rahmatpanah and right tackle Mitch Dean, the defense held Martin in check in the first half. He rushed seven times for 14 yards.
On his first carry in the second half, Martin took one to the house. On third-and-seven, the senior rushed for a 77-yard touchdown, the longest of his career. Martin scored many touchdowns last year on the ground, producing a CdM single-season record 21. His previous longest touchdown run was 63 yards.
"I don't think anybody touched me," said Martin, who only had one more carry after his touchdown, finishing with nine rushes for 95 yards.
Martin, who has been a key contributor on varsity since his sophomore year, has 27 rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns during his career.
•The Sea Kings, who won the CIF State Division III crown last year, are ranked No. 2 in the CalHiSports.com CIF State Division II Bowl Game South poll, behind Moreno Valley Rancho Verde (1-0) and ahead of Romoland Heritage (1-0).
Last year, Heritage defeated Rancho Verde, 34-33, in the CIF Southern Section Central Division championship. The Sea Kings, who won the past three Southern Division titles, moved up to the Southwest Division, where they're ranked No. 1. This year, Rancho Verde and Heritage are in the Inland Division.
— David Carrillo Peñaloza
•Two Swansons are playing quarterback for Costa Mesa High this year, one on the varsity level and one on the freshman level.
Ben, a freshman, helped the Mustangs freshman team earn a 32-32 tie against Northwood on Thursday. A day later his older brother Sammy, a junior, was under center for the varsity team at Jim Scott Stadium.
Costa Mesa found the going tough against the Timberwolves, losing its 13th straight season opener, 34-6. Sammy was able to make more plays on defense than offense. He kept the Mustangs in it early in the game, diving to intercept a deflected pass in the end zone to end the Timberwolves' first possession.
His first completed pass was actually to himself. He caught the pass after it was deflected near the line of scrimmage on the last play of the third quarter.
Swanson did complete a pass to a receiver on the next play, hooking up with Cameron Curet for a 16-yard gain. And the deflected pass to start a career might not be such a bad thing, as Swanson's mother, Katrina Foley, reminded via Twitter.
Foley tweeted out a video of Brett Favre, whose first completed pass as a Green Bay Packer was also to himself in 1992. Of course, Favre went on to throw for more than 71,000 yards and 508 touchdowns in a standout NFL career.
•The Mustangs were stifled offensively overall, mustering just 60 yards of total offense. Coach Wally Grant said his team got physically manhandled up front on the line.
Grant hopes that help will be coming. He said that senior Adam JeyaRajah could be returning soon from an ACL injury.
JeyaRajah was the starting left tackle for Mesa last year and would bring senior leadership to a squad that consists of primarily juniors.
•Costa Mesa's defense hung in there, despite effective play from Northwood backup quarterback Trevor Lawrence (198 passing yards, three total touchdowns). The Mustangs came close to going into the locker room at halftime down by just a touchdown.
However, with Northwood facing a fourth-and-24 at the Mesa 27-yard line, Lawrence found a big target – 6-foot-2 sophomore receiver Michael Bellas. The passing play gained exactly 24 yards to the Mesa three-yard line, and the visitors were given a first down after a measurement.
Two plays later, Lawrence completed a three-yard touchdown pass to Andy Clyde with 23 seconds left in the half. Northwood took a 13-0 halftime lead and never looked back.
— Matt Szabo
Coaches can deliberate long and hard before choosing team captains, but for Sage Hill's season-opening game Friday against visiting Santa Ana Calvary Chapel, the choice was as easy as one, two, three. Those were, in fact the jersey numbers of tri-captains Zach Burns, CJ McCord and Vince Wetmore, respectively.
The three sequential standouts also all handled the ball on the Lightening's only score in a 42-7 nonleague loss.
Late in the first quarter, McCord took the shotgun snap and threw a lateral pass across the field to Wetmore, who returned a similar toss back to McCord. McCord then heaved the ball 60 yards in the air to Burns to complete the 47-yard flea-flicker and knot the score, 7-7.
•Though obviously overmatched physically in the trenches, Sage Hill used gadget plays and special teams gambles to stay with Calvary Chapel for most of the first half.
Senior punter Gordon Strelow ran for eight yards on a fake punt to extend the touchdown drive and, following the touchdown, lifted a well-placed onside pooch kick just beyond the initial Calvary Chapel wall of blockers that junior Liam Tenney recovered at the Calvary Chapel 39-yard line.
•Sage Hill threatened to take the lead in the second quarter, when senior Beau Roth caught what appeared to be a four-yard touchdown pass from McCord in the back of the end zone with the score tied, 7-7.
But the officials negated the play, ruling that Roth had stepped out of bounds, making him ineligible to be the first player to touch the ball in the field of play. After the penalty, the Lightning's subsequent 36-yard field-goal try was blocked.
•Roth earned first-team All-Academy League laurels in 2013 by rushing for 1,144 yards and scoring eight touchdowns as a running back. But Roth carried just four times for three yards Friday and lined up primarily at receiver.
Roth caught one pass for nine yards and Sage interim coach Tom Kirchmeyer said after the game that he, as offensive coordinator, needs to find more ways to get the ball to Roth in the future.
Kirchmeyer said that he realized early that using Roth at running back was ill-advised, since Calvary Chapel was stacking the box and blitzing nearly every down.
Sage Hill, in fact, netted minus-six yards on 18 rushing attempts, only three of which produced more than eight yards and 12 of which were stuffed for either one yards or lost yardage.
— Barry Faulkner