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Week 13 High School Football Preview: Newport Harbor vs. Highland

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Newport Harbor’s Justin McCoy, shown running the ball against Santa Monica on Sept. 20, had the game-winning touchdown run in the Sailors’ 24-20 upset of Monrovia in the CIF Southern Section Division 9 quarterfinals on Nov. 15.
(Drew A. Kelley)

When/where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Highland High in Palmdale

Key Sailors: Jr. RB Justin McCoy (223 carries for 1,115 yards and 19 TDs); So. QB Nick Kim (136 of 224 passing for 1,516 yards, seven TDs and eight INTs); Sr. WR/CB Aidan Goltz (67 catches for 814 yards and four TDs)

Key Bulldogs: Sr. QB/SS Damien Pecoraro (112 of 180 passing for 1,934 yards, 27 TDs and eight INTs); Sr. RB/SS Isaiah Creech (144 carries for 1,551 yards and 23 TDs; 23 catches for 351 yards and seven TDs); Sr. LB Daniel Brown (113 tackles, 24 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and two caused fumbles)

Breakdown: Newport Harbor (9-3) travels to play at No. 2-seeded Palmdale Highland (9-3) in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 9 playoffs ... The Sailors came from behind for the second straight game to record a 24-20 home upset win over No. 3-seeded Monrovia in the quarterfinals last week. McCoy had the game-winning, three-yard touchdown run with 47 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter ... Newport Harbor is vying to reach its ninth CIF championship game in program history, and first since 2013 ... Highland advanced with last week’s 42-29 quarterfinal win at Lakewood, the Bulldogs’ fourth straight win and fourth straight game with at least 40 points scored ... Highland is the runner-up from the eight-team Golden League and was a Division 10 finalist a year ago, losing 35-18 to Rialto Eisenhower in the championship game ... The winner of Friday’s game will play either San Dimas or North Torrance in the title game.

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