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Edison football routs Newport Harbor, clinches playoff berth

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Edison’s Jack Kosick strides into the end zone after catching a pass from Braeden Boyles against Newport Harbor in a Sunset League game on Thursday at Davidson Field.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Since the Newport Harbor High football team moved from the Sea View League to the Sunset League after the 2005 season, the Sailors have yet to earn a win over Edison.

It became readily apparent early on that the trend would not change on Thursday night.

Edison defeated host Newport Harbor 57-7 in a Sunset League game, clinching a CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoff berth in a regular-season finale at Davidson Field.

The Chargers (7-3, 4-1 in league) won their third straight game. They averaged 51.3 points over that span.

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With the win, Edison can finish no worse than second place in league play. The door has also been left open for the Chargers to potentially earn a share of the league title if Los Alamitos (4-5, 3-1) can beat Corona del Mar (9-0, 4-0) on Friday night at Davidson Field.

The Sea Kings try to secure the outright Sunset League championship as they host the Griffins at Davidson Field on Friday at 7 p.m.

Braeden Boyles threw for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those scores came on deep passes of 29 yards and 62 yards to Jack Kosick, who finished with six catches for 154 yards.

“I just wanted to make the best of my opportunities,” Kosick said. “I haven’t gotten to play much offense this year, so I just wanted to leave it all on the field, go all out, and just go get the ball.”

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Boyles, whose father, Jeff, is the Newport Beach fire chief, led the Chargers to scoring drives on their first five possessions.

The Chargers did not punt in the game, as Jacob Hanlon threw for 84 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown pass to Nico Brown. Hanlon added rushing touchdowns of two yards and 54 yards in the second half.

“I’m the punter, but I love when I don’t have to punt,” Boyles said. “I never want to punt, just keep the offense rolling.”

Brown had three catches for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Walters and Mateo Liau each scored once on goal-line carries.

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Edison’s Mateo Liau (24) runs into the heart of the Newport Harbor defense in a Sunset League game on Thursday at Davidson Field.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

For Edison, which is ranked No. 6 in the Division 3 poll, the attention will immediately turn to erasing the memory of a first-round exit in the playoffs last year. The Chargers lost to San Juan Hills 22-15 in Division 2.

“I think everyone is [motivated],” Chargers coach Jeff Grady said. “It’s win or go home at this point. I think we know what is at stake.”

Boyles wants to turn the Chargers’ fortunes around in the postseason, too.

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“We definitely need a playoff win,” Boyles said. “After last year, we need a playoff win, and then hopefully go on a long CIF run.”

Newport Harbor (7-3, 2-3) avoided being shut out by Edison for the fifth time in the teams’ last 14 meetings when Nick Kim connected with Joe Knipp on a 16-yard touchdown on the Sailors’ final drive of the game.

The Sailors, who have lost three straight, will apply for an at-large selection into the Division 9 playoffs. Coming into the week, Newport Harbor was ranked fourth in the division.

Newport Harbor held out a number of players in hopes of getting healthy before the playoffs, including starting quarterback Cole Lavin (knee), whom Sailors coach Peter Lofthouse said was cleared to return on Tuesday.

The Sailors also hope to have outside linebacker Brendan Duffy, defensive end Owen Fisher and wide receiver Mason Walker back should the team qualify for the postseason. Newport Harbor, which hasn’t qualified for the playoffs since 2015, will find out if its season will continue on Sunday, when the section releases the brackets.

“We’re in a good position,” Lofthouse said. “As we said last year, we just wanted a shot to get into the playoffs. We didn’t care who we play, and it’s the same thing this year. We just want to be in the Division 9 playoffs and have a chance. If we’re in there, we think we’re as good as anyone.”

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Newport Harbor running back Justin McCoy (3) runs for a first down as Edison’s Jeremy Alcorn and Trent Fletcher (20) bring him down in a Sunset League game on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer )

Sunset League

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Edison 57, Newport Harbor 7

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Edison 16 – 28 – 7 – 6 — 57

Newport Harbor 0 – 0 – 0 – 7 — 7

FIRST QUARTER

E – Morrell 34 FG, 7:49.

E – Kosick 29 pass from Boyles (Boyles run failed), 5:43.

E – Brown 7 pass from Boyles (Morrell kick), 2:45.

SECOND QUARTER

E – Walters 2 run (Morrell kick), 9:07.

E – Kosick 62 pass from Boyles (Morrell kick), 6:39.

E – Liau 3 run (Morrell kick), 3:21.

E – Brown 32 pass from Hanlon (Morrell kick), 1:00.

THIRD QUARTER

E – Hanlon 2 run (Morrell kick), 4:37.

FOURTH QUARTER

E – Hanlon 54 run (Boyles pass failed), 10:58.

NH – Knipp 16 pass from Kim (Starnes kick), 3:36.

INDIVIDUAL RUSHING

E – Hanlon, 4-74, 2 TDs.

NH – McCoy, 9-35.

INDIVIDUAL PASSING

E – Boyles, 8-12-0, 156, 3 TDs.

NH – Kim, 15-26-0, 123, 1 TD.

INDIVIDUAL RECEIVING

E – Kosick, 6-154, 2 TDs.

NH – Knipp, 8-93, 1 TD.

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