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,
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
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.