Newport Harbor missed point-after conversion attempts while trying to kick, pass and run. After a while, it just didn't matter.
The Sailors, ranked 10th in Orange County, scored four first-half touchdowns and took a 39-14 Sea View League victory over Irvine on Friday.
The victory, in front of about 2,800 at Irvine, improved the Sailors' record to 7-1 overall, 2-1 in league. Irvine (4-4, 1-2) lost any chance of winning the league title.
Still, four teams from the league are probably going to advance to the 16-team Southern Section Division V playoffs. Irvine is ranked sixth in the division and Newport is ranked fourth.
Irvine and Newport Harbor matched touchdowns on their opening drives, Irvine scoring on Jared Flint's 25-yard touchdown pass to Al Williams, Newport Harbor getting an 11-yard pass from Josiah Fredriksen to Ray Ohrel.
After swapping punts, Irvine scored again, capping a 54-yard drive with Flint passing 10 yards to Jake Savona. Sevan Setian's point-after made it 14-7.
But Newport Harbor matched it, driving 66 yards, with Ohrel (22 carries, 96 yards) scoring from three yards. A low snap and a wide kick by Eddie Johnson left Newport Harbor trailing, 14-13, with 6 minutes 47 seconds left in the half.
Though Newport Harbor's missed point-after appeared an advantage for Irvine, the Vaqueros' fortunes quickly changed.
Irvine lost 10 yards on the ensuing possession and punted. Newport Harbor scored in three plays, a 52-yard drive that lasted 66 seconds. Mike LaBass split the secondary deep and caught a 30-yard scoring pass from Fredriksen. The two-point pass failed, but the Sailors had the lead, 19-14, with 3:09 left in the half.
Irvine lost three yards and punted on fourth down on its next series, too. Newport Harbor scored in two plays, going 50 yards in 32 seconds. The second was a 47-yard touchdown pass from Fredriksen to Danny Pulido, who got behind the secondary. The two-point conversion attempt--this time a run--failed, but Newport Harbor had scored twice in a span of 2:58 and taken a 25-14 lead.
Pulido's touchdown surprised everyone.
"They had a safety blitz and the linebacker tried to run with Danny," said Fredriksen, who completed 13 of 20 passes for 221 yards and four touchdowns. "He was wide open. It was a complete surprise. That turned it around."
After halftime, Fredriksen threw a 22-yard scoring pass to LaBass, and Ohrel rushed five yards for his 19th touchdown. Johnson kicked both extra points.