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CdM defense stellar

If the Corona del Mar High football team is going to capture the

Pacific Coast League title, it’s going to do it with a dominant,

play-making defense.

Corona del Mar’s league opener Friday night was a good start. The


Sea King defense intercepted four passes, picked up three fumbles and

scored three touchdowns in a 40-0 victory over Calvary Chapel at

Newport Harbor High.

The Sea King defense took over the game in the third quarter,


coming up with turnovers on each Eagle possession.

On Calvary Chapel’s second play from scrimmage to open the second

half, Shaun Mohler picked off a Vinnie Valdez pass and returned it 27

yards for a touchdown. Charlie Albright’s extra point gave the Sea

Kings a 27-0 lead.

“I was fumbling with it at first, then I got ahold of it and no

one was there,” Mohler said.

On the Eagles next possession, it was an Albright interception


that halted the drive. Calvary Chapel’s third possession resulted in

a Steven Hillgren interception. Hillgren picked the ball off on the

Sea King 29-yard line and rambled 71 yards down the left sideline for

the touchdown.

To cap off the defensive dominance in the third quarter, Ford Noe

put a heavy rush on new Eagle quarterback Jordan Trujillo and found

the ball loose in the air in front of him. Noe snatched it and ran 20

yards for the touchdown, giving the Sea Kings a 4-0 lead with 5:46


left in the third quarter.

“I was blitzing off the end and saw the ball floating up there,”

said Noe. “I just grabbed it and took it to the house.”

The Corona del Mar defense held Calvary Chapel to minus-4 yards

rushing and just 40 yards passing. The Eagles never made past the Sea

King 30-yard line. Is that total domination on defense or what?

“I think so,” Corona del Mar Coach Dick Freeman said. “After the

Newport Harbor game, sometimes it’s hard for the guys to get up for

the next game. But we played aggressively.”

Mohler did it all for the Sea Kings. The 6-foot-3, 202-pound

senior had an interception return for a touchdown, a tackle in the

Eagle backfield for a loss of 2 yards, a 52-yard punt in the second

quarter and a 42-yard punt in the third, and he filled in at

quarterback when Colin Wigley was sidelined briefly with a minor leg

injury. Mohler completed 3 of 7 passes for 28 yards.

“I was stoked to get some time in at quarterback,” Mohler said.

Calvary Chapel opened the game with a successful onside kick --

Matt Bacon recovered his own dribbler. But the Eagles were four and


The Sea Kings were four and out as well, but on Mohler’s 37-yard

punt, Tommy Folks lowered a shoulder on the Eagle punt returner and

the ball came loose. Mike Gratzinger recovered on the Eagle 37-yard

line, setting up Matt Loyd’s 2-yard touchdown run.

A tackle for a 3-yard loss by Andrew Williamson stymied Calvary

Chapel on its next drive.

A 10-yard run by Loyd (nine rushes, 49 yards, one touchdown) set

up Matt Burgner’s 1-yard plunge into the end zone to give the Sea

Kings an early 13-0 lead.