COSTA MESA — For every jab Ocean View High threw at Corona del Mar during Friday's CIF Southern Section Southern Division first-round football playoff game at Orange Coast College, the Sea Kings responded with a quick counter punch.
They even had the final knock down that sent them on into the 11th week of the season.
CdM shut down Ocean View in the second half and scored the only touchdown in the final 24 minutes to come away with a 21-13 victory at LeBard Stadium.
The win moves the Pacific Coast League champion Sea Kings (9-1-1) into Friday's second round, in which they will face Orange League runner-up Anaheim. The Colonists on Thursday defeated Rancho Alamitos, 27-14.
Moving on is all that mattered to CdM head coach Jason Hitchens.
"It doesn't matter at this point in the season if you win by one point, or 40 points," he said. "Every week, from here on out, everyone is 0-0. We now have the opportunity to play 48 more minutes of football, and that's all that matters."
The Sea Kings were protecting a 21-13 lead late in the game when Ocean View got the ball back with under three minutes to play.
Starting from their own 24-yard line, the Seahawks moved down to the CdM 21 in seven plays with 1:23 left.
On second-down, CdM senior linebacker Alex Herrera and senior lineman Jimmy Roney combined to drop Robinson for a two-yard loss.
Out of timeouts, Robinson had a seven-yard gain on a third-down pass from quarterback Nolan Tippy to get to the 16. On fourth down, Tippy lofted a pass toward receiver Josh Clay but Sea Kings junior defensive back Cole Cottrell closed in and knocked the ball away fom Clay at the goal line with eight seconds left.
CdM quarterback Mitch Gardner then took a knee to run out the clock.
"Our defense once again played well and I think we are where we are at in this point of the season because of our defense, and special teams," Hitchens said. "Offensively, we ran the ball pretty welll and made some big passes when we needed to."
Ocean View struck first, going 80 yards in five plays to score.
The Seahawks took over at their own 20 after Andrew Boehm's 33-yard field goal attempt on CdM's opening drive just missed left. On second down from the 23, Tippy aired out a nice pass to receiver Brian Hernandez, who got under the ball at the CdM 43 and headed downfield before being pulled down at the 13 by defensive back Peter Markel. Three plays later, Tippy hit a wide-open Blake Walker over the middle on a 12-yard touchdown pass.
The Seahawks went for two but Tippy overthrew Robinson in the flat, leaving Ocean View with a 6-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.
That lead lasted less than three minutes.
CdM came right back to score on an 18-yard run by Erik Fisher.
The junior running back made a nice cut at the 16 to find a clear path to the end zone. Boehm's conversion put the Sea Kings on top, 7-6.
Prior to Fisher's TD run, senior wide receiver Brent Gray made a great catch when he out-jumped Walker to make a reception at the Ocean View 23 that resulted in a 19-yard gain to the 18.
Gray also had another big grab on CdM's next possession that also allowed the Sea Kings to again recapture the lead.
After Ocean View converted three third-down plays on its drive, the last coming on a 12-yard scoring pass from Tippy to Colton Johnson that gave the Seahawks a 13-7 lead, Gray scored when he took in a 34-yard TD pass from Gardner.
Gray streaked down the CdM sideline to run under Gardner's pass at the Ocean View eight and fought off Walker inside the five to score. Boehm's kick put the Sea Kings on top for good, 14-13, with 2:49 left in the half.
Gray had 92 yards on five receptions to lead all receivers.
CdM scored the only touchdown of the second half on its second possession of the half.
A five-yard run by Fisher and a 17-yard pass from Gardner to Clay Reinhardt, took the Sea Kings from their own 40 down to the Ocean View 39.
Reinhardt then took an inside handoff and shook off a would-be tackle by Ocean View's Eric Hernandez at the 34 and rambled 37 yards before being pulled down at the two by Brian Hernandez.
On the next play, Reinhardt scored on a two-yard run and Boehm's third kick made it 21-13, with 7:22 left in the quarter.
Reinhardt led all rushers with 83 yards on 10 carries. Fisher ran for 70 yards on 18 attempts.
Junior Brent Lawson started at quarterback for the Sea Kings and played through the first quarter. Gardner took over for Lawson on CdM's first possession of the second quarter.
Gardner went on to throw for 99 yards.
"We wanted to try to give Brent a few reps in the playoffs, try to squeeze him in for the first quarter, to give him some CIF experience," Hitchens said. "We were able to do that."
Tippy threw for 140 yards in the first half but was harrassed in the second half by the Sea Kings defense and threw for just 43 yards in the second half.
"They can be very explosive and they're a good, solid football team," Ocean View Coach Harold Eggers said of CdM. "We battled hard and stayed with them, and I wish them nothing but the best the rest of the way."
Corona del Mar 21, Ocean View 13
SCORE BY QUARTERS
OV 6 – 7 – 0 – 0 – 13
CdM 7 – 7 – 7 – 0 – 21
OV – Walker 12 pass from Tippy (pass failed), 6:02
CdM – Fisher 18 run (Boehm kick), 3:15
OV – Johnson 12 pass from Tippy (Hernandez kick), 4:57
CdM – Gray 34 pass from Gardner (Boehm kick), 2:49
CdM – Reinhardt 2 run (Boehm kick), 7:22
OV – Robinson, 14-68.
CdM – Reinhardt, 10-83, 1 TD.
OV – Tippy, 12-21-0, 158, 2 TD.
CdM – Gardner, 7-12-1, 99, 1 TD.
OV – Walker, 4-54, 1 TD.
CdM – Gray, 5-92, 1 TD.