Newport Harbor High quarterback Austin Rios was the latest offensive starter to check into Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach in a two-week span.
Rios left the Sailors' football game Friday at Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach when Coach Jeff Brinkley said he suffered a concussion 10 seconds into the second quarter. Newport Harbor's offense was never the same and it dropped the nonleague game, 17-6.
For the second straight week, the Sailors (3-2) lost a leader and a game. The previous week against San Clemente, junior tailback Buzzy Yokoyama left with a dislocated right kneecap.
Rios hurt his head after an interception, trying to make the tackle near the Mustangs' sideline. Aaron Rios said he took his son to the hospital so he could be checked out after vomiting on the sideline and feeling woozy.
Aaron said Austin's neck is sore but he is doing better. Brinkley said the senior's status for Newport Harbor's Sunset League opener at home against Huntington Beach on Friday is uncertain.
If Austin cannot play, junior Cole Blower will make his first varsity start at quarterback for the Sailors, who are hurting, with Yokoyama, senior fullback Ryan Andrews (shoulder), senior right tackle Dillon Gillette (concussion) and now Rios dealing with setbacks. Yokoyama, Andrews and Gillette missed the team's final nonleague game.
ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿Despite Sage Hill School's 35-14 loss to visiting Pasadena Poly on Friday night, senior tailback Taylor Ross set the school single-season rushing record. His 112 yards Friday gave him 1,120 for the season, topping Keya Manshadi's 1,060 yards in 2005.
Ross is also closing in on the Sage career rushing mark, which also belongs to Manshadi with 2,172 yards. Ross now has 2,058 yards in his four-year varsity career.
With his next touchdown run, Ross will also set the record for rushing touchdowns in a season. His current total of 15 matches the number produced by both Manshadi and Don Ayres in 2005.
ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿Estancia High lost its fourth straight game with a 31-0 setback to host Beckman Friday at Tustin High. But the Eagles were behind only 10-0 until late in the third ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ quarter of the nonleague game.
The Eagles settled down after 10 first-quarter points by the Patriots, who opened the scoring on a 62-yard run on the second play of their second possession.
Estancia might have limited the damage even further on Beckman's next possession, but for some misfortune.
On second-and-19 at the Eagles' 31-yard line, Beckman quarterback Justin Hazard threw what was clearly a lateral pass. The ball was batted backward by rushing senior end Juan Mejia, who appeared as if he would have then recovered the ball in the backfield. Instead, officials ruled it an incomplete pass and whistled the play dead.
On the next snap, Estancia junior outside linebacker Ozzy Magana nearly intercepted a pass that was merely deflected and landed in a Beckman receiver's hands for a 19-yard gain and a first down.
The drive eventually produced a field goal to give Beckman a 10-0 lead.
ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿Sage Hill Coach J.R. Tolver related Friday's loss, his team's first of the season, to his time in the NFL. Tolver, a receiver, was with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad during the 2005 season and with the team prior to the 2006 season as well. He said Coach Bill Parcells talked about coming up big on three plays.
"It's just a matter of us taking advantage of every opportunity we have," Tolver said. "You have to know which three plays are going to change the game. I told the kids that [leading up to the Poly game]. Bill Parcells used to always say, 'There are three plays that you can go back and watch the film, and say those three plays changed the game.' The problem with that is, you don't know when those three plays are going to come."
The Lightning (5-1) weren't ready when presumably one of the plays went Poly's way early in the first quarter. On the second play from scrimmage, Poly senior running back Blake Edwards burst right up the middle and was gone for an 83-yard touchdown. It gave the Panthers the early lead, and Edwards finished with 275 yards rushing.
ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿Wide receiver Parker Norton was not only involved in Newport Harbor's lone touchdown Friday, he helped the offense produce 10 of its 13 first downs.
Eight first downs resulted from Norton receptions, with two more coming on Norton runs. The senior finished with a season-high 12 catches for 139 yards and one touchdown. He had 38 yards rushing on three carries.
Norton made it possible for the Sailors to avoid their first shutout in three years. On fourth-and-goal from the opponent's six-yard line, he dived for a touchdown pass in the end zone with 93 seconds left.
The opposition has held Newport Harbor scoreless only three times since 2000.
ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿One highlight for Estancia Friday was the punting of sophomore tailback Robert Murtha, who averaged nearly 43 yards on eight punts, including blasts of 60, 54 and 48 yards.
Murtha also made a 23-yard gain from punt formation, when he chased down a high snap that sailed over his head and into the end zone, and returned it to the Eagles' 44-yard line.
The impromptu first down was not exactly what Coach Mike Bargas had in mind.
"He's a great punter," Bargas said. "I was going to ring his neck for taking the ball out of the end zone, and then he gets the first down. He's a competitor."
ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿Newport Harbor is 3-1 in its last four Sunset League openers. The Sailors' open against Huntington Beach (4-1), which returns to the league after playing in the Sea View League the past four seasons.
Huntington Beach's lone loss this season came to Corona del Mar, 16-10. Newport Harbor defeated CdM in the Battle of the Bay, 35-13.
The Sailors hold a 31-19-4 edge in the series against the Oilers.
ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿Pasadena Poly's 35 points were the most the Lightning have allowed this year, while the 14 points Sage scored represented a season-low.
Tolver said he knew the game would be tough. Poly led the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division, Sierra Canyon, Sept. 25 before eventually falling, 31-28. Sage Hill entered Friday's game ranked No. 6 in the East Valley Division.
Poly (3-2) was ranked No. 8 in the Northeast Division.
"That's a good football team and we were in the game all the way until the end of the third quarter," Tolver said. "Their record isn't indicative of who they are as a football team. They lost to Malibu, a big school, and they lost to Sierra Canyon. Hopefully they keep winning; I think they can compete for a championship as well."
ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿Estancia's offense was stymied by the Patriots (3-2), who limited the Eagles to 101 total yards. Estancia crossed midfield only twice on its 12 offensive possessions and was blanked for the first time since Oct. 4, 2008 (a 17-0 nonleague loss to La Quinta), a span of 21 games.
ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿ÃÆÃâÃâÃÂ¿Corona del Mar and Costa Mesa both had byes.
— From staff reports