High School Football: TWO-MINUTE DRILL

Corona del Mar High football coach Scott Meyer had his team pumped up after its 51-14 Pacific Coast League win over Northwood on Friday.

In his post-game address, he asked his players, "Who's in the driver's seat?" The players answered back: "We are." Meyer then said "No one comes into your house and takes it away from us."

The players later chanted "Chase that ring," meaning the CIF Southern Section Southern Division championship ring that the Sea Kings claimed in 2011.

Coach Jeff Brinkley is in his 27th season calling plays for the Newport Harbor High offense. He also occasionally calls the final score. Such was the case Friday, when the Sailors (3-4, 1-1 in league) defeated Fountain Valley, 21-14, in a Sunset League game at Huntington Beach High.

"[Sailors girls' cross country and track and field coach Eric] Tweit walked into my office [Friday] and asked me 'What's the score?' Brinkley said after Friday's dramatic finish. "I said 21-14 [Newport Harbor]. I told him I thought we were both pretty close to each other right now."

Estancia High's bid for a third straight undefeated Orange Coast League title ended Friday at home.

The Eagles lost to Laguna Beach, 48-14, to snap their 12-game winning streak in league play. The 34-point setback in league is their worst since 2005, when the Eagles played in the Golden West League.

Estancia (4-3, 1-1) lost the field position, turnover and penalty battles against the Breakers (6-0-1, 2-0), who moved up a spot to No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division poll this week. The Eagles are No. 10.

Six of the Eagles' first seven drives began on their own 20-yard line. The Breakers prevented Estancia senior Ben Beck from hurting them after he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the previous two games.

Laguna Beach's Robbie Mclnerny had six kickoffs that resulted in touchbacks.

Half of the Breakers' four scoring drives in the first half began near the red zone, helping them take a 28-7 halftime lead.

The Eagles turned the ball over twice on interceptions and once on downs, compared to only one turnover for Laguna Beach.

Estancia was penalized 10 times for 70 yards and the Breakers just twice for 15 yards.

Costa Mesa High fell to 0-2 in the Orange Coast League for the first time since joining the league in 2006. The Mustangs were hurt on the opening kickoff of their 23-21 Orange Coast League loss to Godinez on Friday at Segerstrom High.

Neither kick returner went to get the ball that landed in the middle of the field at about the five-yard line. It bounced a couple of times, and the Grizzlies recovered it. One play later, a touchdown run gave Godinez the lead.

Grant said it was a miscommunication between his two returners, both of whom thought the other would catch the ball and went to get into the wedge.

"That's not going to happen again," Grant said. "From this point on, if that ball's coming on [one player's] side of the hash, [that player goes to] get it. If it's coming in the middle, then they both go get it. That has cost me twice now."

Los Amigos recovered a kickoff that no Mustang bothered to pick up in the teams' nonleague game on Sept. 13.

Meyer rattled off the rest of the Sea Kings' schedule Friday: Thursday at Irvine; Oct. 26 at home vs. Woodbridge; and the regular-season finale against Beckman at Tustin High on Nov. 2.

Despite the resounding win over Northwood, CdM (5-2, 2-0) fell one spot to No. 3 in the CIF Southern Division poll.

Irvine (4-3, 1-1) is ranked No. 5 and Woodbridge (3-4, 1-1) is tied for No. 6. Beckman (2-5, 1-1) is among others receiving votes.

Brinkley said his team's success running the ball came almost exclusively during the first half, when it produced 91 of the team's 122 rushing yards.

Some of that early success came courtesy of formations that stacked Sailors blockers near the targeted hole. With 6-foot-3, 264-pound senior offensive tackle Zach Cornwall sidelined due to a knee injury, Brinkley used an unbalanced line on a handful of plays. The formation called for tackles Ramsey Hufford (6-3, 296) and T.J. Tarazevits (6-7, 313) to line up side by side, with tight end Alex De Soto occupying the traditional tackle spot on the opposite side.

In addition, Brinkley flanked fullback Marty Taylor and a receiver, with each one step behind off either hip of De Soto, to form a blocking wall off tackle for Talalelei Teaupa. The first time this formation was used, Teaupa went 44 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring.

Estancia senior Robert Murtha is now the Newport-Mesa career touchdown leader.

He found the end zone twice against Laguna Beach, giving him 50 touchdowns during his three-year career. Murtha surpassed the record of 49 set by Costa Mesa's Keola Asuega.

Murtha's touchdowns include 46 rushing, two receiving and two on kickoff returns.

Murtha, who has 4,673 yards rushing for his career, is 286 yards away from becoming the No. 10 all-time ground gainer in Orange County history.

Penalties continuously hurt the Costa Mesa, which was flagged 11 times for 100 yards. Godinez had two penalties for just 10 yards.

Among the Mesa miscues was a crucial encroachment call, on which a defensive lineman was drawn offside on fourth-and-one at the Mesa 16-yard line with about one minute left in the game. Three plays later, Grizzlies' quarterback Zachary Huizar hit Brian Hernandez with the game-winning touchdown pass.

"Why they happened tonight and they haven't happened all year, I've got to look at film and see what's going on," Grant said of the penalties. "We haven't been penalized 11 times all year."

Teaupa, who exited before halftime with a bruised kidney in the league-opening loss to Edison on Oct. 4, healed quickly enough to return against Fountain Valley. He rushed for 125 yards and the aforementioned touchdown on 27 carries. He also stepped into the secondary for the final sequence of plays that began with the Barons having first-and-goal at the Newport Harbor one-yard line.

On fourth down, Teaupa batted down a pass in the end zone as time expired, securing the win.

"We were dropping into one specific zone and I just had to make sure nobody caught the ball in my zone," Teaupa said. "And that's what I did.

"We had to fight, because we knew that if we lost this game, that probably would have been it [for their chances at one of the league's three guaranteed CIF Southern Section Southwest Division playoff berths]. This win was really big for us."

The Sailors face another crucial Sunset League game against Huntington Beach (4-3, 2-0), ranked No. 8 in the Southwest Division, on Friday at home.

Estancia's lone road trip in league is Friday, when they play Godinez at Segerstrom High. The Eagles are facing a Grizzlies team (3-4, 2-0) that is tied for first place in league with Laguna Beach.

Estancia Coach Mike Bargas said he hopes to have starting quarterback Brad Wilson back. The senior missed Friday's game because of a pulled groin he suffered in the Battle for the Bell against Costa Mesa on Oct. 5.

The Eagles, who are tied for third in league with Saddleback with three games to go, played without defensive lineman Kevin Peters and offensive lineman and linebacker Adahir Aguilera on Friday. Both seniors are dealing with knee injuries. Bargas said he was unsure when both might return.

Costa Mesa has lost its first two league games by a total of just four points. The losses have nevertheless put the Mustangs in a hole, if they hope to make the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs.

After Saddleback beat Calvary Chapel, 29-28, on Saturday, Costa Mesa (2-5, 0-2) and Calvary Chapel (3-4, 0-2) are tied for last place in the six-team league. Only the top three teams are guaranteed CIF playoff berths.

The Mustangs can hope to win out and gain one of the three spots, but that would include a win over Laguna Beach in the regular-season finale Nov. 1 at Orange Coast College. Laguna is considered the heavy favorite to win the league title, particularly after beating Estancia.

There are five leagues in the Southern Division, which means the division has only one at-large playoff berth.

— From staff reports

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World