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Corona del Mar football gets it going in scrimmage at Tesoro

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Corona del Mar quarterback Ethan Garbers throws the ball in a scrimmage at Tesoro High on Friday.
(Jeff Antenore)

The offense sputtered early, but the same could not be said for the Corona del Mar High football defense in Friday night’s scrimmage at Tesoro.

Senior cornerback Chandler Fincher, an All-CIF Southern Section Division 4 selection last year, dove to intercept Tesoro quarterback Sean Lindgren’s pass on the very first play.

The Sea Kings had their ups and downs in the 90-minute scrimmage against the Titans, which featured a controlled environment with plays being run from the 40-yard line, the red zone and third-down situations.

CdM senior receiver John Humphreys, a Stanford commit, had trouble getting on the same page with Washington-bound senior quarterback Ethan Garbers, at least early on. The first five-play series featured a dropped pass by Humphreys, then a long pass to Humphreys that sailed out of bounds.

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“I think there were some flashes of good stuff tonight, but we were not clean on offense,” CdM coach Dan O’Shea said. “It was really choppy. I think the second set of plays, we were good, but man, we missed a lot of balls in the air. We’re normally much better on that.

“We didn’t execute as well as we’d like on offense, and I think defensively in the run game, we didn’t play near as good as we’d hoped. But I thought there was some good stuff. Pass defense, I thought we played well, and again there were some flashes on offense, but not near as consistent as we’d like to be.”

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Corona del Mar wide receiver John Humphreys catches a touchdown pass in Friday’s scrimmage against Tesoro.
(Jeff Antenore)

As the Sea Kings went downfield, Garbers connected with Humphreys on a short pass, and he rumbled into the end zone after breaking several tackles. He would later catch a one-yard touchdown pass on a fade to the right corner of the end zone.

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After Garbers went out, backup quarterback Simon Hall, who is primarily a receiver, connected with Humphreys on a long touchdown down the right side of the field.

Senior cornerback Matt Frey intercepted Garbers on defense for Tesoro, which got touchdown runs up the middle of 40 and 30 yards, respectively, by senior running back Zach Wran.

"[Wran] has been a starting safety for us the last two years, and this year he’s going to carry the load in terms of running the ball,” Tesoro coach Matt Poston said. “He had a good night, and the line opened some nice holes for him as well ... I thought as we settled in, we started giving it back to them a little bit. I have to say it was pretty balanced, from what I could see, on both sides. Two good teams. I know we got out injury free, which was goal No. 1, and I believe they did. That’s what we both really wanted, and to get some work against a good team and get us prepared for the season.”

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Tesoro running back Zach Wran breaks through the Corona del Mar defense to record one of his two long touchdown runs in Friday's scrimmage.
(Jeff Antenore)

CdM and Tesoro are both in Division 3 this year, so the teams could meet again during the postseason in November. The Titans finished third last year in the tough South Coast League, losing to Mission Viejo and San Clemente but advancing to the Division 2 playoffs.

O’Shea said he was interested in watching the film to see how the Sea Kings looked on the line of scrimmage, headed into their season opener against Downey on Aug. 23 at Newport Harbor High.

“It’s always hard to gauge, because you improve so much in these first couple of weeks,” he said. “You’re not the same team in Week 3 that you are in scrimmage week. We’ve just got to continue to make progress in execution on offense and the line of scrimmage on defense.”

The Sea Kings, who return 10 starters on offense and six on defense, look to get back to a CIF Southern Section title game, this time in Division 3.
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