Erik Fisher likes to tell the story of how his mother, Tanya Fisher, named him before he was born 17 years ago.
Tanya was making a list of baby names and the first one she wrote down was "Erik." Then the phone rang.
"My aunt called and asked [my mom] if she thought about Erik [as a name]," Erik said. "She said, 'Yeah, that's the first name on my list.'"
Seventeen years later, Erik Fisher's name is No. 1 on another list. Late in the past two Corona del Mar High football games, the team has called Fisher's name more than once.
Each time, he has responded with the game-winning score.
The most impressive comeback effort has to be the one the running back clinched last week for the Sea Kings against Western. With his legs, he turned a seven-point deficit into a one-point lead for CdM.
Fisher first leaped over a defender to find the end zone from six yards out. Trailing by one and with 4:51 left to play, CdM decided to go for the lead instead of tying the game with an extra-point kick.
The call made perfect sense to Fisher in that situation.
"We just had a lot of momentum," Fisher said.
The Sea Kings called Fisher's name yet again. And he drove them to the top, running in for two points.
No one touched Fisher, just his quarterback, Brent Lawson, and that's because he handed the ball off to Fisher in shotgun formation. The two points gave the Sea Kings a 22-21 win and they avoided a blemish through the first three games of the season.
Fisher turned into a workhorse that night, rushing 31 times for 174 yards and two touchdowns. The next day, Fisher said, his neck felt sore after recording a career high in carries.
There is a lot of work left for the senior and CdM, ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division.
Fisher will try to help keep the Sea Kings perfect Friday, when they play host to Newport Harbor in the Battle of the Bay at Orange Coast College at 7 p.m. The last time Fisher was on the winning side of the rivalry game was two years ago, but it was on junior varsity.
As a sophomore, Fisher said he ran for a touchdown and it stood up, CdM beat the Sailors, 7-0. The Sea Kings never lost that season, almost finishing with a flawless record, except for a tie.
Most of the contributors from that JV team will be on the field against Newport Harbor. Fisher names some of them, Lawson, Josh Giger, Frasier Anderson, Grant Garrett, Caden Stark, Liam Duddy, Kyle Sherburne.
As for the guys on the other side of the ball, Fisher doesn't give names.
"I don't remember any specific people," he said before the names of a couple of Newport Harbor players he faced two years ago came up.
Those same players are looking to extend the Sailors' winning streak in the Battle of the Bay to five games. A win here for Newport Harbor and it bounces back from its first 0-2 start in 29 years.
In the way is Fisher and his offensive line, led by Stark at center and Duddy at right tackle. The Sea Kings run a no-huddle spread offense, but with Fisher in the backfield, the opposition cannot just play the pass.
If the first three games have taught defenses anything, it is that Fisher, a 5-foot-9, 180-pounder, can run in between the tackles and outside. He has produced 371 yards and five touchdowns on the ground this season.
Four of those touchdowns have come in the Sea Kings' past two come-from-behind victories. They beat the Sailors and the Sea Kings are off to their first 4-0 start in 22 years.
"It's a big game," Fisher said. "Pretty much everyone from each side of the bay goes to the game."
Everyone is sure to hear Erik Fisher's name called by the PA announcer.
Born: March 17, 1994
Hometown: Los Angeles
Weight: 180 pounds
Position: Running back
Coach: Scott Meyer
Favorite food: Pasta
Favorite movie: "Cool Runnings"
Favorite athletic moment: "[Unbeaten] JV season [in 2009]."
Week in review: Fisher scored a six-yard touchdown run and ran in a two-point conversion to lift the Sea Kings to a 22-21 victory against Western and help CdM improve to 3-0. He finished with 174 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries.