No matter how convincingly the Corona del Mar High football team wins its games, critique seems to come from within.
The Sea Kings have found a recipe for success in never being satisfied, and the constant search for improvement continued on Thursday night.
Following a resounding 42-7 victory over host Fountain Valley in a Sunset League game at Huntington Beach High, Sea Kings senior tight end Mark Redman spoke to the team before it broke the final huddle.
He reiterated a message that the CdM coaching staff has been driving home all season — that penalties could cost them when it matters most.
“Our team is good enough offensively and defensively,” Redman said. “The only thing that is stopping us from getting that ring on our finger and getting that state championship is the penalties. It’s killing us.
“Obviously, we had some on both the offensive and defensive side. Once we take those out of the game, I think we’re unstoppable.”
CdM (8-0, 3-0 in league), the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 poll, played the game without wide receivers John Humphreys and Simon Hall, whom Sea Kings offensive coordinator Kevin Hettig said were held out for precautionary reasons.
In their absence, the Sea Kings showcased both depth and versatility.
Senior quarterback Ethan Garbers threw for 238 yards and four touchdowns. Bradley Schlom made eight catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and Redman had seven grabs for 61 yards and two scores.
Among the less frequently utilized targets, junior wide receiver Tommy Griffin had three catches for 28 yards, while junior tight end Scott Giuliano made his first catch of the season for a 19-yard gain.
Hettig came away impressed with the contributions of Giuliano, whose 6-foot-5, 205-pound frame adds to CdM’s blocking in the run game.
“Both of those tight ends blocked their tails off,” Hettig said. “Scott is a kid that is right there, and tonight he got an opportunity and he proved himself a little. He made a nice catch on the vertical ball on the sideline. He’s a player, and he’s earning himself more snaps.”
Riley Binnquist turned 10 carries into 129 yards and two touchdowns. He had 102 rushing yards before halftime.
“It starts up front,” Binnquist said. “Our offensive line dominates every single day. When Ethan does hand me the ball, I’ve got the [offensive] line to help me up front and get me the holes, and I hit them. That’s just where all of my yards come from.”
Binnquist has produced back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances, the only two of the season for the often pass-oriented Sea Kings.
After the Sea Kings scored their first two touchdowns on the ground, Garbers went to work through the air. He has thrown for at least four passing touchdowns in all but one game this season.
Late in the second quarter, Garbers ripped a pass into a tight window, and Redman came down with the catch for a six-yard touchdown that extended the Sea Kings’ lead to 28-0 going into halftime.
Defensively, the Sea Kings received 1½ sacks from Mason Gecowets. Chase Zanck and Thomas Bouda each had one sack, and Griffin recovered a fumble.
Fountain Valley dropped to 3-5 overall and 0-3 in league play. Jimmy Russell threw for 115 yards and a touchdown. Blake Anderson made four catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. The senior wide receiver now has 920 receiving yards for nine touchdowns this year.
Carlos Salazar also had 59 rushing yards for the Barons.
The Sea Kings will take on Newport Harbor in the Battle of the Bay on Oct. 25 at Davidson Field. Newport Harbor (7-0, 2-0), which is ranked No. 2 in Division 9, hosts Los Alamitos (2-5, 1-1) on Friday at 7 p.m.
Schlom anticipates a great atmosphere next week, especially if the Sailors can go into the rivalry game undefeated because first place will be on the line.
“It’s just awesome,” he said. “It’s a whole community thing, one side of the [Newport Back] Bay versus the other side of the bay. I don’t know if [Newport Harbor will beat Los Alamitos], but it should be a good matchup, and I’m excited for it.”
Corona del Mar 42, Fountain Valley 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Corona del Mar 21 – 7 – 14 – 0 — 42
Fountain Valley 0 – 0 – 7 – 0 — 7
CdM – Binnquist 2 run (Voorhees kick), 9:04.
CdM – Binnquist 16 run (Voorhees kick), 3:41.
CdM – Schlom 38 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 0:00.
CdM – Redman 6 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 2:42.
CdM – Schlom 22 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 7:46.
FV – Anderson 34 pass from Russell (Martinez kick), 4:11.
FV – Redman 6 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 1:50.
CdM – Binnquist, 10-129, 2 TDs
FV – Salazar, 17-59.
CdM – Garbers, 20-25-0, 238, 4 TDs
FV – Russell, 7-17-0, 115, 1 TD.
CdM – Schlom, 8-121, 2 TDs
FV – Anderson, 4-65, 1 TD.
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