Coach Mike Bargas wanted his Estancia High team to be practicing on Thanksgiving Day.
That hasn't happened at the school in a long time.
The Eagles earned the privilege to practice Thursday by beating visiting Magnolia, 42-7, in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs last Friday. The postseason victory was Estancia's first since 1980.
"It feels good," Bargas said of ending the Eagles' 11-game losing streak in the playoffs, 10 of them in playoff openers.
The Eagles (9-2) travel to play Woodbridge (6-5) in the second round at Irvine High on Friday at 7 p.m.
Estancia has never defeated Woodbridge in football and the program has never won back-to-back playoff games in its history.
*Robert Murtha can call himself Estancia's all-time leading rusher.
In just two seasons on varsity, the junior running back has totaled 3,544 yards on the ground. Murtha's 226-yard effort in the first round of the playoffs against Magnolia helped him surpass James Dawkins' mark of 3,209 yards, which Dawkins established at Estancia from 1995-97.
The Newport-Mesa career record is 4,333 yards, owned by Costa Mesa's Binh Tran (1991-93).
Murtha also broke Estancia's single-season rushing record of 1,679 yards, which he set last season. He now has 1,865 yards this season.
In the past two weeks, Murtha has turned in his biggest games of the year, recording 502 yards and five touchdowns during the stretch. He scored on runs of 82 and 55 yards last week and on an 84-yard run two weeks ago.
*Until this year, Estancia didn't have much success against teams from the Pacific Coast League.
Earlier this year, the Eagles ended a 15-game losing streak to teams from the PCL with a 43-27 home win against Northwood.
Before Estancia made a run at claiming back-to-back undefeated Orange Coast League titles, it went 1-2 against teams from the PCL. Estancia lost to Beckman and University by a combined 10 points.
Beckman is the top seed in the playoffs, while University failed to qualify for the postseason.
A team from the PCL has eliminated Estancia from the playoffs in the Eagles' last four appearances.
*One key to Corona del Mar's 43-7 win over visiting Westminster in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs, was the Sea Kings' kick return game.
Five CdM touchdowns came after returns put the offense in prime position. Three returns put the Sea Kings in the Lions' red zone and two more set the hosts up on the Westminster side of midfield.
Kyle Sherburne returned a kickoff 35 yards, Cole Cottrell returned a punt 43 yards and Aaron White returned a punt 15 yards. CdM followed each with a touchdown on the next play.
White also had a 43-yard kickoff return to set up a field goal.
The Sea Kings totaled 167 return yards, despite Westminster pooching both its kickoffs and eventually going to a directional punt aimed toward the sideline.
*Though CdM has won five straight first-round playoff games, the lopsided 36-point margin has been atypical during the streak.
CdM had won its four previous postseason openers by a combined 43 points. The previous two playoff runs to the semifinals, however, have included a second-round blowout.
CdM blanked Anaheim, 35-0, in the 2010 quarterfinals and trounced Laguna Beach, 41-0, in the 2008 quarterfinals.
The No. 2-seeded Sea Kings (9-2) will try to continue that trend when they play host to Los Amigos (9-2), the Garden Grove League runner-up, when the two meet in Friday's quarterfinal at Newport Harbor.
Five of eight first-round winners in the Southern Division outscored their foes by between 31 and 36 points.
*CdM and Los Amigos have not played before in football. Friday's winner will take on either No. 3-seeded Segerstrom or Laguna Beach in the semifinals on Dec. 2.
*Newport Harbor Coach Jeff Brinkley said he was proud of his team Friday night after the Sailors' season ended with a 49-14 loss to Long Beach Poly in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs.
Brinkley said the Sailors did not quit after falling behind 42-0. They also performed well after Brinkley said some people wrote them off before the season even started, when the team learned in June that senior running back Buzzy Yokoyama would transfer to Mission Viejo.
"We never talked about [Yokoyama leaving]," Brinkley said. "If they don't want to be a Sailor, we don't want them. That's the way we look at it. But I think young people, any time something like that happens, it probably has a little emotional impact on them. But like I said, we don't talk about him."
The Sailors found a more-than able replacement in senior Titus Hasson, who finished the year with 1,005 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. He set up the Sailors' first touchdown Friday with an 80-yard kickoff return, and alertly scored the second after picking up a fumble and taking it 46 yards to the house.
Yokoyama, who missed time earlier this year for Mission Viejo with a foot injury, had his best game of the year Friday. He rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Diablos to a 51-22 victory over Long Beach Cabrillo in another Pac-5 first-round game.
*Newport Harbor is a program known for strong defense year in and year out, and for good reason. But Long Beach Poly's 49 points was the second-most given up by the Sailors in a single game in program history, and the most in Brinkley's 26-year tenure as head coach.
In a game in 1952, the Sailors lost to Fullerton, 52-26.
*Brinkley said he was impressed with No. 3-seeded Long Beach Poly's attack on offense, and it wasn't just because the Jackrabbits had two able quarterbacks in Nick Pope and Chaisye Hales.
Nine different players carried the ball for the Moore League champions, who also has effective receivers. Seven different Jackrabbits caught passes in the first half alone for Poly.
Pope found junior basketball star Roschon Prince for the last touchdown of the game, a 36-yard pass on fourth-and-seven early in the fourth quarter. Prince, who stands 6-foot-7, was named a sophomore class All-American last year in basketball by ESPN Rise. He helped Poly win the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA hoops title and advance to the CIF State Division I quarterfinals.
*It is a familiar scene across high school football, although this time it was unfamiliar to Costa Mesa. Tears streamed down several Mustangs' faces as they lost their CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoff opener to Los Amigos, 38-7. Last season Costa Mesa surely would have loved to go through the ups and downs of a playoff run, having finished 3-7 the year before. And just as surely, the Mustangs will feel a lot of pride as they look back on an 8-3 season, with a 4-1 mark in a fairly tough Orange Coast League.
*Costa Mesa senior running back Mario Smith finished the season with 28 rushing touchdowns and 30 total touchdowns. The 30 TDs broke the school single-season record for total TDs set by Charles Chatman with 29 in 1994.
*Mario Smith took the loss especially rough. Smith was wearing a light jacket draped over a sling over his left shoulder, after he was drilled to the hard ground with 6:37 left in the third quarter. Smith carried the Mustangs on his shoulder, legs, back and everywhere else over the year, with 1,982 yards and 28 rushing touchdowns on 193 carries, including 113 yards and one TD on Friday against Los Amigos. According to MaxPreps, Smith only had two fumbles, outstanding numbers for one of Orange County's best running backs
*Sophomore fullback Oronde Crenshaw filled in nicely for Smith, pouring in 68 yards on 12 carries as the feature back. Crenshaw has given Costa Mesa fans a taste of what they'll see over the next two seasons, and he got to shine brightly on the playoff stage. Crenshaw had a 22-yard carry that showcased his bruising power and sizzling speed at times
*Not to be overlooked is the season senior quarterback Nathan Alvis had, as he passed for 11 touchdowns to go with just two interceptions and 1,398 yards. Alvis was very positive after the win, sounding like he could play another 60 minutes.