Tars still own Battle

NEWPORT BEACH — Buzzy Yokoyama's No. 2 jersey was darker than the ones the rest of his Newport Harbor High teammates wore.

He was drenched in sweat.

The junior running back ran hard again. His encore to a 294-yard rushing performance last week was another huge effort on the ground.

Yokoyama did not smash any single-game records, but he broke tackles in the biggest game in the Back Bay, the Battle of the Bay.

The latest outing by Yokoyama was not for the record books, but for bragging rights in town.

Yokoyama can say whatever he wants after leading the Sailors to a 35-13 victory against rival Corona del Mar at Davidson Field on Friday night. Yokoyama ran wild, rumbling for 260 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries.

When Yokoyama learned of his production, he said, 'Oh boy!"

That is right. In back-to-back games, Yokoyama has rushed for 554 yards and seven touchdowns. Coach Jeff Brinkley said he does not know if he has ever seen a tailback during his 25 years at Newport Harbor turn in similar performances.

"We've had a lot of good running backs," Brinkley said.

Yokoyama wants his name next to the greats at Newport Harbor. If he continues to run like a running back possessed, Yokoyama has a chance at breaking school records.

He broke off major runs on the Sea Kings, handing them their first loss of the season and keeping the Sailors undefeated through three games.

"I'm not going to talk smack," Yokoyama said, "but [getting the win] just means that these guys can't talk smack to us."

Yokoyama hit the Sea Kings (3-1) in the mouth and then ran over them. He scored on runs of 69, 64, 22 and 11 yards.

Each quarter featured a Yokoyama touchdown. The 5,000 fans in attendance were fortunate to see Yokoyama in action in the nonleague game.

CdM Coach Jason Hitchens said the sold-out crowd knows why the Sailors wiped out the Sea Kings for the fourth straight year.

"I think anybody in the stands can probably come to the conclusion that we didn't tackle very well tonight," said Hitchens, whose defense allowed 305 total yards rushing. "The kid was a tough running back. We still have to tackle. It's not the first game of the year and some of it was just really sloppy tackling. It was him wanting to get down the field more than we wanted to tackle him."

Yokoyama calls it sheer determination.

The Sailors, ranked eighth in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division, have owned the rivalry against CdM, holding a 36-13 edge.

The Sea Kings, ranked seventh in the Southern Division, fell behind late in the opening quarter.

After Yokoyama put Newport Harbor ahead, 7-0, on a 22-yard touchdown run with 3:58 left in the first quarter, the Sailors forced a fumble. Drew Diller recovered the ball on the opponent's 29.

With the Sea Kings worried about Yokoyama, the Sailors called a play-action pass. Quarterback Austin Rios found wide receiver Parker Norton wide open over the top for a 29-yard touchdown strike. Newport Harbor took a commanding 14-0 lead.

The Sailors' side believed they were on their way to an easy win. Jeff Condino and Clay Reinhardt quieted the crowd, Condino first with a 33-yard run.

Reinhardt grinded for 25 yards on six carries, setting up the Sea Kings' first pass during a nine-play drive. It came three seconds into the second quarter as Gardner went to his favorite receiver on the night. Brent Gray beat the corner on a skinny post, hauling in a 17-yard touchdown pass to make it a one-touchdown game.

Yokoyama quickly made it a two-possession game.

On a run to the right, Yokoyama fired through and popped loose to the outside. He found the Newport Harbor sideline and then fooled a defender who had an angle on Yokoyama, only to lose it when Yokoyama jab stepped as if he was going to cut back in near the 30. The defensive back slowed down and Yokoyama shifted into another gear, roaring down the sideline for a 69-yard score, his longest rushing touchdown of the season.

Yokoyama put the Sailors up, 21-7, with 10:04 left in the first half. The defense gave Newport Harbor another opportunity to jump on CdM when Norton recovered a fumble.

Mistakes plagued the Sea Kings, who were inside the Sailors' 10-yard line twice in the second half and came away with just one field goal by Andrew Boehm.

The first time, on Newport Harbor's 10, the center snapped the ball over Gardner's head. Reinhardt recovered the ball 20 yards behind the original line of scrimmage.

The Sea Kings came away with no points late in the third quarter. The second time they were in business, a pass sailed over the head of a wide-open receiver in the end zone and the Sea Kings settled for three points.

"The upside for us is that we're probably not going to play anybody better than Newport Harbor the rest of the year," Hitchens said.

Add trying to bring down a running back as difficult as Yokoyama.

Newport Harbor 35, Corona del Mar 13


Corona del Mar 0 – 10 – 0 – 3 — 13

Newport Harbor 14 – 7 – 7 – 7 — 35


NH – Yokoyama 22 run (Ochoa kick), 3:58.

NH – Norton 29 pass from Rios (Ochoa kick), 3:42.


CdM – Gray 17 pass from Gardner (Boehm kick), 11:57.

NH – Yokoyama 69 run (Ochoa kick), 10:04.

CdM – Boehm 25 FG, 0:46.


NH – Yokoyama 11 run (Ochoa kick), 9:21.


CdM – Boehm 20 FG, 6:40.

NH – Yokoyama 64 run (Ochoa kick), 4:09.


CdM – Reinhardt, 23-51.

NH – Yokoyama, 22-260, 4 TDs.


CdM – Gardner, 5-13-0, 99, 1 TD.

NH – Rios, 10-14-1, 129, 1 TD.


CdM – Gray, 4-57, 1 TD.

NH – Norton, 4-45, 1 TD.

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