CORONA DEL MAR
The Battle of the Bay trophy is finally back at Corona del Mar High.
The Sea Kings ended the Sailors' six-year reign in the football rivalry, pounding them, 34-14, in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,600 at Orange Coast College.
Only one team had beat CdM during the past two years in which the Sea Kings won consecutive CIF Southern Section Southern Division titles. The Sailors fell way short of knocking off CdM again as the Sea Kings shut them down in the second half.
The Sea Kings ripped off their 14th straight victory dating back to last season. They came back from a 14-7 deficit at halftime.
The triumph was CdM's 14th against Newport Harbor. The Sailors have won 38 of the 52 matchups against the Sea Kings.
"I'm so happy for our seniors, all of our guys," CdM Coach Scott Meyer. "It's been a long time coming."
Meyer's program came close to defeating the Sailors in each of the past two seasons, only to lose, 27-26, in 2012, and lose, 29-26, in 2011.
"We got the win [Friday night], but we just got to continue with the rest of the year," Meyer said. "This doesn't define our season. It's a great win, but we've got to keep playing."
•The Sea Kings this Friday will face the only other team, beside Newport Harbor, that they lost to last year.
CdM (4-0), the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division poll, plays host to Capistrano Valley (3-1), ranked No. 9 in the Southwest Division, at Davidson Field at 7 p.m.
Capistrano Valley is the second straight Southwest Division ranked opponent to face CdM.
Last year, CdM lost at Capistrano Valley, 24-7. Since that setback, the Sea Kings haven't lost. They are on a school-best 14-game winning streak.
•The previous seven times CdM prevailed against Newport Harbor, the Sea Kings went on to reach the playoffs each time.
After three of those losses to the Sea Kings, the Sailors missed the postseason.
•Hoyt Crance, an outside linebacker, intercepted a pass late in the third quarter, helping CdM take its first lead.
The turnover led to the Sea Kings going ahead, 21-14. The turnover was also the second in as many quarters CdM converted into a touchdown.
Parker Chase, a defensive end, recovered a fumble on the Sailors' 19 with 7:05 left in the second quarter. Four plays later, quarterback Luke Napolitano tied the game at 7-7 with a one-yard touchdown run.
"They had a bunch of two-way players and we don't," Crance said as to why CdM dominated the second half, outscoring the Sailors, 27-0. "They just got really tired and had no gas in the second half."
•The tide is turning in the Back Bay when it comes to football.
For the first time in quite some time, CdM went unbeaten in the Battle of the Bay football games on every level against Newport Harbor last week.
Brent Ogden, a CdM alumnus, said the last time the Sea Kings went unbeaten against Newport Harbor was in 1972, when they won the varsity and junior varsity games and tied the freshman game.
This year, the Sea Kings won the varsity game, 34-14, the junior varsity game, 21-12, and the freshman game, 49-21.
Out of three contests, the mini Battle of the Bay turned out to be the most lopsided.
The Sea Kings jumped ahead, 35-0, after the first quarter, en route to claiming the freshman game for the third straight year under Coach Jerry Jelnick.
On offense, quarterback Chase Garbers completed all of his nine passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Billy Shaw had five catches for 135 yards and a touchdown and tailback Jaydin Moses rushed eight times for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
Moses, playing linebacker, also returned an interception for a 40-yard touchdown.
On defense, outside linebacker Mitch Haly produced seven tackles, three for sacks, and outside linebacker Thomas Walker had six tackles, two for sacks.
Teddy Barber, a linebacker, led CdM with nine solo tackles.
Before CdM's current three-game winning streak in the freshman Battle for the Bay, Newport Harbor had won six straight.
— David Carrillo Peñaloza
[For the record, 11:30 a.m. Sept. 25: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Hoyt Crance as Hugh Crance.]
•If not for two straight holding calls late in the first half, Newport Harbor High might have been up by two scores at halftime.
If not for those two calls, the Sailors might have gone into the break with all the momentum and maybe they don't lose to CdM, 34-14, at Orange Coast College.
The Sailors, leading 14-7, got to CdM's 28 with 35 seconds left in the first half. On back-to-back plays, quarterback Cole Norris hooked up with wide receiver Quest Truxton on a 20-yard pass and then a six-yard pass with receiver Cory Stowell.
On the next play, Newport Harbor was flagged for holding, putting the offense on the 42.
Then the Sailors went backward again because of a holding call, placing them on their 48.
With 12 seconds to go, Newport Harbor asked its quarterback to kneel and run out the clock. The Sailors went into the break up by seven points.
They never scored again.
•Three games into the season, the Sailors (1-2) have a losing record for the third straight season, a first under Coach Jeff Brinkley.
Brinkley, in his 28th year in charge of the Sailors, looks to get Newport Harbor back on track this week. The Sailors, ranked No. 10 in the Southwest Division, play at San Clemente (2-2) on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Tritons have dropped two straight games.
•Stowell had a breakout performance for Newport Harbor, finishing with eight receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown.
With CdM zeroing in on Truxton, Norris went to Stowell often. Stowell caught four of the five second-half passes Norris completed.
Truxton's four catches for 67 yards came in the first half. The standout senior went into the Battle of the Bay averaging eight catches for 140.5 yards and two touchdowns per game.
— David Carrillo Peñaloza
•The Costa Mesa High football team may continue to be shorthanded without senior standouts Oronde Crenshaw and Quinton Bell. But at least two other seniors stepped up Friday night, nearly helping the Mustangs come from behind for a nonleague victory over Los Amigos at Bolsa Grande High.
The Mustangs nearly came back from 20-point hole before falling, 20-14. But it wasn't because of the effort of senior Joseph Quiroz.
Quiroz played perhaps the best all-around game of his school career. He was a menace on defense from the end position, recording three sacks and at least two other stops for no gain. He also blocked Los Amigos' first extra point of the night.
On offense, Quiroz was a reliable receiver at tight end for quarterback Oliver Ferris. He totaled four catches for 35 yards. Two of the catches came on the Mustangs' final drive of the fourth quarter, including an eight-yard reception to convert a third-and-seven.
"He had a hell of a game," Costa Mesa Coach Wally Grant said. "He showed why he is a D1-caliber kid. He dominated both sides of the ball, and that was fun to watch tonight. He finally played a game for 48 minutes, and it was fun to watch."
•Senior Jason Garcia, filling in for Crenshaw at tailback, also played well. He ran 29 times for 95 yards, with 68 of those yards coming after halftime. That was important for the Mustangs, as sophomore Mason Mataafu, the team's leading rusher in the previous week's loss to Katella, suffered a wrist injury early in the second half. Grant said it was a bad gash that would require stitches.
Garcia also helped Costa Mesa in the field-position battle with his kickoff returns. He had four of them against Los Amigos for 113 yards.
"I'm impressed with him," Grant said. "I wasn't real happy with his performance [against Katella]. We had a good week of practice with him, and I think he finally figured out how to be a running back this week."
•The two straight losses by five and six points, respectively, might be a bit concerning to the Mustangs. Last year their three league losses all came by a touchdown or less, but collectively they caused them to miss the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs.
Katella and Los Amigos are ranked Nos. 3 and 7, respectively, in the latest Southern Division poll released Monday.
Costa Mesa has one more nonleague game this year, against Savanna on Friday night at Glover Stadium. The Mustangs then have a bye next week before opening league with the Battle for the Bell game against Estancia on Oct. 11.
— Matt Szabo
•Estancia High junior tailback Christian Laurent just missed his third straight triple-figure rushing output of the season on Friday, collecting 99 yards on 31 attempts in a 40-6 nonleague loss at Irvine. But Laurent had to work for virtually every inch of ground, often breaking multiple tackles to make the most of limited running room against the Vaqueros.
•Despite having to play the whole game at cornerback, filling in for a starter who did not make the trip, senior Devon Jackson had a breakthrough game at receiver for the Eagles. The 6-foot-4 wideout had five receptions for 59 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Connor Brown late in the second quarter. Jackson came in with a four receptions for 24 yards in two previous games.
•Irvine High needed just 16 combined plays on the possessions that produced its five touchdowns Friday. Conversely, Estancia used 13 plays to drive 85 yards for its only touchdown. On the Estancia scoring drive, Laurent converted two fourth-and-short situations to help keep the drive alive.
•Estancia Coach Mike Bargas had an enthusiastic hand shake with Irvine assistant Zaverio Brenner after the game. Bargas and Brenner were formerly assistant coaches together at Newport Harbor.
— Barry Faulkner