Scott Meyer built something special during his four years in charge of the Corona del Mar High football team, which included three Pacific Coast League titles, three CIF Southern Section Southern Division championships and the 2013 CIF State Division III title.
Meyer left after the following season to become the Servite head coach. On Friday night, he faced his former team for the first time on the opposing sideline as the first-year coach of Lakewood. Meyer coached against his former defensive coordinator Dan O’Shea, who took over as CdM head coach following his departure.
“It was weird,” Meyer said. “It was great to see a lot of people. Our bus got lost, and we ended up coming through the neighborhood just like we did when I was at CdM. We’re in the locker room we used when I was at CdM, so it brought back a lot of great memories for sure.”
O’Shea called it “super-awkward” to coach against his good friend. He added that he would much rather be on the same sideline as Meyer, who now is trying to build up a young Lakewood team. As for CdM, the Sea Kings have kept the excellence going with two CIF title game appearances in the last three seasons.
The coaching matchup ultimately offered more intrigue than the nonleague game, which ended in a 56-7 CdM romp at Newport Harbor High.
CdM, ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division 3, improved to 4-0 headed into its bye week. Lakewood, which Meyer said starts eight sophomores, fell to 1-3.
CdM senior quarterback Ethan Garbers threw for 221 yards and four touchdown passes in just less than a half of action. Three of the scores went to senior receiver John Humphreys, who caught five passes for 107 yards.
CdM led 49-0 at halftime and attempted just one pass in the second half. O’Shea was pleased with the Sea Kings’ running game, which netted 256 yards on 20 carries.
Primary running back Jason Vicencio, a junior, had three carries for 66 yards and his first touchdown of the season. Senior Riley Binnquist added a 25-yard touchdown run and senior Ryan Rector carried eight times for 93 yards and a touchdown, all in the second half.
Rector said he played water polo the last two years before deciding to come back to football as a senior.
“At first I was playing linebacker, and then they decided to put me as a running back,” Rector said. “Now it’s just time to learn the offense and get going. I just need to keep working … this is the first time we’ve been able to have our running game going off on the other defense, and we’re all pretty stoked on it.”
Bradley Schlom found the end zone twice for CdM, on a 54-yard touchdown catch from Garbers as well as a 69-yard punt return.
The Sea Kings’ starting defensive unit blanked Lakewood, though the Lancers, down 21-0, went on one prolonged drive late in the first quarter.
Aided by CdM pass interference and personal foul penalties, Lakewood got itself into a first-and-goal situation on the CdM nine.
But Gevani McCoy’s third-and-goal pass into the end zone was broken up by CdM junior cornerback Ryder Haupt. A fourth-and-goal pass fell incomplete on the final play of the first quarter, as the Lakewood receiver slipped on the play.
CdM will emerge from its bye week on Sept. 26 with an anticipated game against San Clemente (4-0) at Newport Harbor High. The Sea Kings beat the Tritons 21-20 last year on the road on Garbers’ 23-yard touchdown pass to Schlom with 11 seconds left in the game.
“Big one,” O’Shea said. “There’s nothing better than being able to play one of the top public schools consistently in Orange County. We’ll have our hands full.”
Corona del Mar 56, Lakewood 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Lakewood 0 – 0 – 7 – 0 — 7
Corona del Mar 21 – 28 –0 – 7 — 56
CdM – Humphreys 9 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 10:50.
CdM – Schlom 69 punt return (Voorhees kick), 9:44.
CdM – Humphreys 9 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 5:45.
CdM – Schlom 54 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 9:37.
CdM – Vicencio 37 run (Voorhees kick), 8:11.
CdM – Humphreys 15 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 5:38.
CdM – Binnquist 25 run (Voorhees kick), 1:57.
L – Bridges 7 pass from McCoy (Moger kick), 1:52.
CdM – Rector 3 run (Voorhees kick), 8:24.
L – McCoy, 12-40.
CdM – Rector, 8-93, 1 TD.
L – McCoy, 13-23-0, 101, 1 TD.
CdM – Garbers, 11-20-0, 221, 4 TDs.
L – Alvarez, 1-46.
CdM – Humphreys, 5-107, 3 TDs.
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