Jeff Brinkley, Newport Harbor football coach, couldn't think of a worse way to start the Sailors' Sea View League game against Saddleback Friday night at Davidson Field.
Newport Harbor overcame two early fumbles and a 10-point deficit for a 27-17 victory, spoiling Saddleback's hopes for a showdown with Estancia next week for the league title. The Sailors improved to 6-3 overall and 2-2 in the league; Saddleback dropped to 4-5 and 2-2.
"We came out and did everything wrong that we could but we were in good shape (leading 13-10) at halftime," Brinkley said. "We had some mistakes and breakdowns early. If we eliminated those, we knew we would be OK."
Newport Harbor quarterback Stephen Scheck completed 11 of 19 passes for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. He threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Matt White with 21 seconds left in the first half and tossed an 18-yarder to Aaron Kaiser to give the Sailors a 27-17 lead with 4:16 left in the game.
Running back Todd Farley rushed for 131 yards in 31 carries and scored on a one-yard run to put the Sailors ahead, 20-17, with 2:52 left in the third quarter.
The Sailors got the ball back after Farley's touchdown when noseguard Randy Cicero sacked Saddleback's Paul Delgado on fourth down at the Roadrunners' 19-yard line. Two plays later, Scheck threw the touchdown pass to Kaiser.