On the surface, it would appear Newport Harbor football Coach Jeff Brinkley doesn’t have much confidence in kicker Josh Klein. After all, Brinkley elected to have the Sailors go for a 2-point conversion in the third quarter when they only trailed 10-6, rather than let Klein attempt the point after.
Appearances, however, can be deceiving. Brinkley had enough faith in Klein to let him kick a 34-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter to help Newport Harbor to a come-from-behind, 17-10 victory over Tustin Friday night at Northrup Field.
Newport Harbor is 2-6 overall, 1-2 in the Sea View League. Tustin is 3-4-1, 1-1-1.
Newport Harbor, which trailed at halftime, 10-0, put together its first strong drive of the game midway through the third quarter. Senior halfback Tommy Walker gave the Sailors needed momentum on the opening play of the drive, running over and through defenders on a screen pass for a 12-yard gain. The play gave Newport Harbor its biggest gain to that point. Quarterback Steve Scheck completed 6 passes for 48 yards during the 12-play, 64-yard drive culminated by Walker’s 1-yard run off tackle for the touchdown.
Klein came onto the field for the extra point, but Brinkley called time and decided to go for 2 points. Scheck found Jim Stanley in the corner of the end zone for the conversion, and Tustin’s lead was only 10-8.
Klein’s kick came with 3:22 left in the game and Newport Harbor facing a fourth and 9 at the Tustin 17. A 33-yard run by Walker had given the Sailors a first down deep in Tustin territory, but the drive stalled 3 plays later. Klein’s kick gave Newport an 11-10 lead.
Walker scored the final points of the game on a 4-yard run with 19 seconds left.