Corona del Mar High School’s defensive unit made the big play when it had to Friday night, as the Sea Kings remained undefeated with a 14-7 victory over previously unbeaten Estancia in a Sea View League game in front of 4,500 spectators at Newport Harbor High School.
Linebacker Pat Callaghan scored what proved to be the winning touchdown when he intercepted a Dan Ucker pass and returned it 62 yards with 25 seconds left in the first half.
With Estancia driving late in the game, defensive back Brandon Bento preserved the victory with an interception, which he returned 41 yards to the Estancia 38-yard line.
Linebacker Jerrott Willard recovered an Estancia fumble on the Corona del Mar 12 to end the Eagles’ only serious scoring threat in the first half.
Corona del Mar (6-0-1, 1-0-1) needed the big plays from its defense to earn the victory. Estancia (5-1-1, 0-1-1) out-gained the Sea Kings in total yards, 218-147.
Corona del Mar’s most consistent drive came on its first possession. The Sea Kings gained 36 yards through the air and 31 on the ground in 12 plays to score with halfback Greg Haack going over from 1 yard out. Callaghan added the conversion for a 7-0 lead with 3:46 left in the first quarter.
Trailing 14-0, Estancia narrowed the deficit to 7 points early in the third quarter. Defensive end Kevin Thomas intercepted a Corona del Mar pass deep in Sea King territory to set up the score.
Estancia moved 19 yards in 8 plays, with Jeffery Desandro scoring from 1 yard out. Marco Vasquez added the extra point.