The Corona del Mar High football team went three-and-out in the opening series of the Battle of the Bay game Friday night at Davidson Field.
Three quick incomplete passes and the Sea Kings’ offense punted the ball away to rival Newport Harbor.
“I was a little bit nervous coming in, a little jittery,” CdM quarterback Ethan Garbers said.
Garbers calmed down and put together a record-breaking performance in the 58th edition of the rivalry game.
The junior passed for a school single-game record seven touchdowns, breaking the mark of six that he previously shared with his older brother, Chase Garbers. Yes, the Sea Kings again own the bay.
They beat Newport Harbor for the sixth straight time, earning a 62-14 Sunset League victory that helped them stay tied atop the league and most likely eliminated the Sailors from CIF Southern Section Division 7 playoff contention.
Ethan Garbers had to hurry after the game. He said he had a red-eye flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Oregon on Friday night. He plans to watch Chase, a redshirt freshman quarterback at Cal, play at Oregon State this weekend. Ethan, who recently received an offer from Oregon State, also will be able to tour the campus.
Ethan and Chase can talk about younger brother breaking the CdM touchdown record.
“He’ll say, ‘You should have done it in a half,’” Ethan Garbers said with a grin.
CdM (7-1-1, 3-0-1 in league), ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division 4, remains tied with Los Alamitos with one game remaining after the Griffins routed Huntington Beach 47-0. The Sea Kings can clinch at least a share of the league title when they host Huntington Beach in the regular-season finale on Oct. 26.
Garbers, who finished 16 of 28 for 292 yards, completed just one of his first five passes for four yards. Credit Newport Harbor senior defensive back Raphael Cruz, who provided solid coverage early and deflected away a sure touchdown pass to CdM junior Bradley Schlom.
The Sea Kings did not fret. They used Schlom’s speed to open things up on their second drive. First it was a 38-yard sweep to Schlom. Then Garbers hit Schlom on a 35-yard pass, the receiver sliding to make the catch at the one.
Garbers hit a familiar target, junior receiver John Humphreys, on the touchdown. After senior linebacker Luke Fisher recovered a fumble at the Newport Harbor 26 on the next play from scrimmage, the Sea Kings were quickly back in business.
The next three touchdown passes would all go to different receivers. First Garbers hit Max Farzine on a two-yard score, then he went over the middle to find junior tight end Mark Redman on a 32-yard touchdown.
“Miscues are going to happen when you’ve got two great football players like [Humphreys and Redman],” Newport Harbor coach Peter Lofthouse said. “We tried double-covering them at times, and they still made plays.”
After Newport Harbor (3-5-1, 0-4) went three-and-out, a 10-yard punt gave the Sea Kings the ball back on the Newport Harbor 23. This time, Garbers found running back Jason Vicencio running open up the left sideline. Garbers hit him in stride, and CdM had a 27-0 lead.
Yet another Sailors three-and-out and punt gave CdM the ball at midfield. Garbers found Redman again over the middle for a 50-yard score.
Newport Harbor scored its first touchdown late in the half, as sophomore quarterback Cole Lavin converted a fourth-and-goal situation with a three-yard pass to Rory McCrory, the first of two touchdown catches by McCrory.
But Lavin would leave the game before halftime, as Lofthouse said he suffered a possible broken clavicle. Senior Andrew Testa played quarterback in the second half, most of which was played with a running clock.
CdM, which got two of its four sacks from senior Ethan Jajonie, added special teams and defensive scores after Humphreys caught a long touchdown pass. Tristen Troutman returned a blocked punt for a touchdown, and Shane Stewart returned an interception. Garbers set the new record when he found Schlom on a 16-yard strike late in the third quarter.
“He was a little too amped up early, a little overexcited, but I think after the first quarter we played really well on offense,” CdM coach Dan O’Shea said. “There was nothing I was more excited about than seeing Mark Redman get in the end zone twice. For him to make a couple of big plays vertically was huge for our offense.”
Corona del Mar 62, Newport Harbor 14
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Newport Harbor 0 – 7 – 0 – 7 — 14
Corona del Mar 14 – 20 – 21 – 7 — 62
CdM – Humphreys 1 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), 6:06.
CdM – Farzine 2 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), 3:51.
CdM – Redman 32 pass from Garbers (kick failed), 10:36.
CdM – Vicencio 23 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 9:29.
CdM – Redman 50 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 8:52.
NH – McCrory 3 pass from Lavin (Starnes kick), 3:53.
CdM – Humphreys 57 pass from Garbers (Voorhees kick), 10:47.
CdM – Troutman 16 blocked punt return (Voorhees kick), 9:18.
CdM – Schlom 16 pass from Garbers (Schroeder kick), 2:48.
CdM – Stewart 43 INT return (Schroeder kick), 10:27.
NH – McCrory 12 pass from Testa (Starnes kick), 1:50.
NH – Keliikoa, 4-17.
CdM – Schlom, 2-44.
NH – Lavin, 10-19-0, 76, 1 TD.
CdM – Garbers, 16-28-0, 292, 7 TDs.
NH – Goltz, 4-67.