ANAHEIM — New football coach at Corona del Mar High, yet it was the same result for the Sea Kings football program when it comes to season openers since 2001.
It took the offense more than 20 minutes to find the end zone in Coach Scott Meyer's debut with the Sea Kings on Friday night. Once the offense found its rhythm, CdM poured it on, scoring five straight touchdowns to rout host Savanna, 40-7, at Glover Stadium.
The Sea Kings actually fell behind, 7-0, midway through the opening quarter. Then CdM reeled 40 straight points to claim its 11th straight season-opening win.
Meyer, or his team, wasn't concerned when the Rebels scored on an electrifying 89-yard run down the CdM sideline. Savanna stood no chance at beating CdM for the first time in 48 years.
The Sea Kings, ranked No. 4 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division preseason poll, pounded the Rebels ground game after the big run by running back TreVon Jones. The defense gave CdM time to get in a groove.
Quarterback Brent Lawson and running back Erik Fisher appreciated the patience. The two seniors delivered in the second and third quarters.
Lawson finished with 199 yards and three touchdowns on 11-of-19 passing. His favorite target was tight end Matt English, who caught six passes for 98 yards and one touchdown.
Fisher rushed for 104 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries. He was the one who broke the game open on the opening kickoff in the second half.
Fisher returned the kickoff 92 yards to put CdM up, 26-7. Meyer was on his way to his first victory and he said it felt great to be back in charge of a high school program after spending last season as an assistant at Long Beach Wilson.
"They knew if we just kept playing together … things will turn," said Meyer, who stayed optimistic after CdM struggled early on.
On its first three drives of the game, CdM moved the ball, twice getting inside the Rebels' 10-yard line and once to their 13. The Sea Kings came away with just two field goals by Grant Garrett.
Savanna used one play to find the end zone, and did the Rebels get there in a hurry. Jones went to the right and then outran every defender for an 89-yard touchdown, giving Savanna a 7-0 lead.
The Rebels stayed out in front for most of the first half because of the Sea Kings' offensive shortcomings in the red zone.
That one touchdown was all CdM's defensive unit gave up. The offense received great field position because the defense stuffed Savanna, which only recorded one first down in the first half.
After Garrett converted his second field goal, a 25-yard attempt that cut Savanna's lead to, 7-6, safety Kyle Sherburne and linebacker Aaron White created havoc in Savanna's backfield.
Sherburne dropped Jones for a six-yard loss and White tackled his backup five yards behind the line of scrimmage. Facing a third-and-26 situation with no aerial threat, Savanna ran the quarterback for a short gain, opting to punt.
Two Savanna quarterbacks completed just three passes for zero yards.
A fair catch by Cole Cottrell on Savanna's 35 put the Sea Kings' offense in business.
Three plays later, Lawson found a wide-open English over the middle. English walked into the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown, giving CdM a 12-7 lead, its first advantage.
The Sea Kings' defense continued to bury Savanna, forcing the Rebels to go three-and-out for the third time in the first half. Lawson and company took advantage of starting near midfield.
Lawson ran for 19 yards and then went to the air. He threw a fade in the corner of the end zone to Troy Reese. With a 6-foot-3 receiver in Reese, the chances of him coming down with the ball were high.
The ball was tipped and Reese, falling back, hauled in the pass for a 27-yard touchdown with sixty seconds left before halftime. The touchdown reception turned out to be the first of two by Reese.
Late in the third quarter, Lawson connected with Reese on a six-yard touchdown pass. That was the final score of the game, allowing Lawson and the starters to enjoy the game from the sideline with their new coach.