Tars come close, but fall

HUNTINGTON BEACH — The buzz was there at the start for the Newport Harbor High football team. Buzzy Yokoyama created it when the running back suited up for the first time after missing the last three games with a dislocated right kneecap.

What is still missing is the Sailors' offense.

The return of Yokoyama did not help Newport Harbor avoid its second straight shutout in Sunset League play. The Sailors' league title hopes ended Friday after Edison held on and won, 7-0, at Huntington Beach High.

The back-to-back scoreless efforts are the first for Newport Harbor Coach Jeff Brinkley in 19 years. The defense did its job against the defending league champion Chargers, holding them 22 points below their season average.

The problem for Newport Harbor (4-4, 1-2 in league) was its own offense. Without any points, the Sailors were not about to beat Edison for the first time in 31 years.

"We've got to find a way to get into the end zone," said Brinkley, whose team the previous week against Los Alamitos lost, 30-0, on the road. "Now, it's a two-game season if we want to get into the playoffs or not."

Newport Harbor needs to win the final two league games against Marina and Fountain Valley to finish in third place and earn a berth into the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs.

Edison (6-2, 3-0) and Los Alamitos (6-2, 3-0) are the lone undefeated teams in league. They meet in the regular-season finale on Nov. 11 at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach.

Edison Coach Dave White is not looking too far ahead with rival Fountain Valley up next. The Chargers surprised White before the home game, honoring him for 25 years as their coach.

Then they came out and scored on the game's opening drive. Edison covered 65 yards in five plays.

The first four plays resulted in first downs. The fifth one went for a touchdown when quarterback Chase Favreau scored on a four-yard run out of shotgun formation to put Edison up, 7-0, two minutes into the game.

The rest of the game was a defensive battle. There were opportunities for more points, but each defense elevated their play. Edison made sure the Chargers defeated the Sailors for the sixth straight time.

The Sailors appeared to be in business early in the fourth quarter. Yokoyama ran well during the eight-play, 65-yard drive, as he recorded 20 of his 54 yards in the game.

Yokoyama finished with 15 carries. When Newport Harbor was pinned on its six, Yokoyama and a 34-yard run by fullback Ryan Andrews helped the Sailors reach Edison's 29.

Faced with a third-and-five, quarterback Austin Rios threw a pass to wide receiver Parker Norton inside the five-yard line. Norton and defensive back Eric Zumwalt leaped and Zumwalt came down with the ball.

Newport Harbor appeared to have another shot to tie Edison late in the game. Rios dropped back and hit receiver Kellon Truxton on a pass inside the Chargers' 10, but an offensive holding penalty nullified the big play.

"We had a shot. We thought at the end when we caught the deep ball," Brinkley said. "Unfortunately we got a penalty called against us."

While Edison moved the chains, Newport Harbor only had three first downs in the first half. The field position belonged to the Chargers throughout.

Edison tried to increase its lead to 10-0, but Newport Harbor senior Blair Luchs blocked a 39-yard field-goal attempt with 4:58 left before halftime. The defense kept Newport Harbor in the game, with Truxton and Norton each intercepting passes in the red zone.

Edison reached the opponent's territory four times in the first half. The Chargers came away with just seven points, and that total proved to be enough to stay in the hunt for a fifth straight league crown.

Edison 7, Newport Harbor 0


Newport 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 0

Edison 7 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 7


E – Favreau 4 run (Perdomo kick), 10:34.


NH – Yokoyama, 15-54.

E – Favreau, 13-63, 1 TD.


NH – Rios, 13-26-1, 84.

E – Favreau, 9-16-2, 96.


NH – Norton, 8-46.

E – Masaniai, 4-38.

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