The Corona del Mar High football team is unbeaten in its last 37 league games, but 30 of those came in the Pacific Coast League.
The Sea Kings valued the chance to join the traditionally more tough Sunset League last year, and shared the league title with Los Alamitos in their first season.
Friday’s 42-7 victory against Edison should go down as CdM’s biggest Sunset League victory yet.
Senior quarterback Ethan Garbers threw for four touchdowns at Newport Harbor High, adding his first rushing score of the season. The Sea Kings’ defense also was stout, earning three interceptions, including two by junior cornerback Ryder Haupt and a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown by senior free safety Zack Green.
CdM (7-0, 2-0 in league) stayed tied atop the league with Back Bay rival Newport Harbor (7-0, 2-0), which won 34-3 at Huntington Beach on Friday night.
CdM, top-ranked in CIF Southern Section Division 3, handed No. 7 Edison (4-3, 1-1) its worst loss in coach Jeff Grady’s three-year tenure. The Chargers hadn’t lost this bad since suffering a 42-0 nonleague shutout against Mater Dei on Sept. 23, 2016.
“Enjoy the next 24 hours,” CdM coach Dan O’Shea told his team in his post-game speech. “It doesn’t get any sweeter than a running clock against Edison High School.”
Senior receiver John Humphreys also had a big night for CdM, with nine catches for 153 yards and three touchdowns. It was Humphreys who caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Garbers to cap CdM’s 83-yard drive to open the game.
Edison also drove into CdM territory, but Braeden Boyles’ pass was deflected and intercepted by Green, who took it to the house to put the hosts up 14-0 with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter.
Garbers played in front of his older brother, Chase, the former CdM quarterback who is now a redshirt sophomore for Cal. Chase Garbers led the Golden Bears to a 4-0 start before breaking his collarbone against Arizona State on Sept. 27, though the team is hopeful he will return this season.
Ethan Garbers, who completed 21 of 30 passes for 301 yards, the four touchdowns and no interceptions, admitted that he thought Friday’s game would be closer. The Sea Kings beat Edison 21-14 last year.
But the defense made a difference.
“We came out firing on all cylinders,” Garbers said. “Zack Green had a pick-six, and Ryder Haupt had two interceptions. They balled out. That pick-six changed the whole game. The defense just played lights out. To only give up seven points against a really good Edison team is something special. We just need to keep getting better. We need to get that down to zero points, and we’ll be satisfied.”
After Edison went three-and-out, Garbers added a four-yard rushing score on the third play of the second quarter.
Then Haupt recorded his first interception of the game, returning it 29 yards to the Edison 10-yard line. Three plays later, Garbers found senior tight end Mark Redman over the middle on a 15-yard touchdown.
The rout was on, as CdM had a 28-0 lead with 10:21 remaining in the first half.
“They were the better team,” said Grady, whose team will try to bounce back when it plays at Huntington Beach (1-6, 0-2) on Oct. 18. “They just beat us in every single phase. Obviously, offensively we turned the ball over, and that didn’t help. Then they ran the ball at will, and they threw the ball well. We had our hands full to begin with, and we didn’t help our own cause. That makes it an uphill battle. Chasing points is tough to do against a good team like this.”
One area of improvement for CdM would be penalties, as the Sea Kings had 11 of them for 92 yards. Three of them came on Edison’s only scoring drive of the night, led by junior quarterback Jacob Hanlon. Out of the Wildcat formation on second-and-goal, senior running back Mike Walters found Tanner Nelson on a five-yard touchdown pass with 4:50 left in the second quarter.
But the Sea Kings immediately went on a five-play, 80-yard drive. Garbers found Humphreys on a 35-yard touchdown pass that gave CdM a 35-7 halftime lead.
CdM was able to run the ball all night with senior Riley Binnquist (10 carries for 102 yards), senior Ryan Rector (eight for 56) and junior starter Jason Vicencio (nine for 38).
“Those guys are all super running backs, but their defense dictated what we were going to do, run and pass,” said O’Shea, whose team plays Fountain Valley (3-4, 0-2) on Oct. 17 at Huntington Beach High. “When they went light in the box with four down linemen and two linebackers, a six-man front, we ran it. When they wanted to pack the box, we chucked it, and we chucked it pretty well tonight.”
Corona del Mar 42, Edison 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Edison 0 – 7 – 0 – 0 — 7
Corona del Mar 14 – 21 –7 – 0 — 42
CdM – Humphreys 11 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 8:17.
CdM – Green 75 INT return (Voorhees kick), 4:30.
CdM – Garbers 4 run (Voorhees kick), 10:44.
CdM – Redman 15 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 10:21.
E – Nelson 5 pass from Walters (Tro. Fletcher kick), 4:50.
CdM – Humphreys 35 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 2:32.
CdM – Humphreys 17 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 5:54.
E – Walters, 8-25.
CdM – Binnquist, 10-102.
E – Hanlon, 2-8-1, 49.
CdM – Garbers, 21-30-0, 301, 4 TDs.
E – Campbell, 2-49.
CdM – Humphreys, 9-153, 3 TDs.
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