The passing game of the Corona del Mar High football team has been getting a lot of attention early in the season, and deservedly so.
The offense, led by junior quarterback Ethan Garbers, junior receiver John Humphreys and junior tight end Mark Redman, has been dynamic. But the Sea Kings’ defense isn’t so bad either.
CdM went on the road Friday night and earned its first shutout of the season. The Sea Kings dominated both sides of the ball in a 35-0 nonleague victory at Lakewood.
It is the third straight win for Corona del Mar (3-1), ranked No. 3 in CIF Southern Section Division 4. Lakewood is 0-3.
Garbers and Humphreys again put up big numbers. Garbers, who last week tied his older brother Chase for the CdM single-game record of six touchdown passes, completed 18 of 28 passes for 354 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Three of the touchdown passes went to Humphreys, who had six catches for 152 yards.
Redman caught a four-yard touchdown pass on the Sea Kings’ first drive, and junior receiver Bradley Schlom also had a big night with four catches for 104 yards.
CdM didn’t need to punt the ball until the fourth quarter, which was played with a running clock. The Sea Kings drove for touchdowns on their first two drives after Lakewood’s first possession ended when sophomore Gevani McCoy’s quarterback sneak on fourth-and-two was stopped for a one-yard gain at the Sea Kings’ 37.
That would be the only time that Lakewood would cross midfield in the first half. The CdM offense had no such problems.
“I thought they did a really good job of playing keep-away on offense,” CdM coach Dan O’Shea said. “They ran it well early on us [with senior running back Sebastian Kronberger, who had 44 of his 55 rushing yards in the first half]. We tried to make some adjustments up front. I thought they were real physical in the run game … but I do think we were solid. I think it’s really good for us to get outside of the county and play some other teams. It was great to come play Lakewood, which has a rich tradition.”
Garbers threw touchdown passes — the score to Redman, followed by two long passes to Humphreys down the right side — on CdM’s first three drives. Trying to go for his fourth touchdown, CdM got close late in the half.
Garbers found Humphreys for a 32-yard pass to the one-yard line. After he spiked the ball to kill the clock with 21 seconds remaining in the half, Garbers dropped back to pass.
O’Shea said that CdM was flagged for an illegal formation on the play, but it continued despite what was later ruled an inadvertent whistle. The pass in the end zone was deflected and intercepted by Lakewood, Garbers’ first interception of the season.
After Garbers threw another touchdown pass to Humphreys in the third quarter, he ran for a 10-yard score. Down 35-0, Lakewood tried to get on the scoreboard late in the quarter, driving to the CdM 12.
Facing a fourth-and-two situation, the Lancers went for it on the first play of the fourth quarter. But CdM junior cornerback Chandler Fincher read the screen pass to Kronberger well, blowing it up for no gain to create a turnover on downs.
“I just planted my foot, went for it and made a big play,” Fincher said. “After that [49-7 season-opening loss at] JSerra, we were kind of embarrassed. We came out hot the next three, and now we’ve got our first shutout.”
CdM plays at San Clemente next week. The Tritons (1-3) lost Friday night at Murrieta Valley 55-38 and have played a difficult nonleague schedule.
“That’s going to be a phenomenal Orange County game, to say the least,” O’Shea said. “Two top-10 teams in the county, and it will be a battle.”
Corona del Mar 35, Lakewood 0
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Corona del Mar 7 – 14 – 14 – 0 — 35
Lakewood 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 0
CdM – Redman 4 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), 5:35.
CdM – Humphreys 27 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), 10:39.
CdM – Humphreys 23 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), 5:09.
CdM – Humphreys 36 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), 8:56.
CdM – Garbers 10 run (Schroeder kick), 3:45.
CdM – Vicencio, 9-53.
L – Kronberger, 13-55.
CdM – Garbers, 18-28-1, 354, 4 TDs.
L – McCoy, 19-29-0, 103.
CdM – Humphreys, 6-152, 3 TDs.