Truxton leads Newport Harbor to big win

Quest Truxton caught 12 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns last week. Afterward, Truxton said he looked inside the Newport Harbor High program to see where his performance stood in the school's record book.

He found out that he couldn't compare his stats.

"The only record [the program] keeps is for individual rushing yards for a game," Truxton said. "I talked to the coaches and they said the yards have to be one of the higher records for a receiver at the school."

The kind of night Truxton delivered is rare in the Sailors' run-first offense. After rushing 12 times for a negative two yards at halftime against Los Alamitos last week, they needed to go to the air in the second half.

The No. 1 target for quarterback Cole Norris turned out to be the receiver wearing No. 1 on the field.

Norris went to Truxton repeatedly. Each time, Truxton came through. He hauled in passes and outran defensive backs for first downs and the end zone to help the Sailors rally for a 31-28 win in overtime at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach and finish with their best record in Sunset League play in 35 years.

The Sailors (6-3, 4-1 in league) finished second in league and clinched one of the league's CIF Southern Section Southwest Division playoff berths. Because of Truxton, Newport Harbor is at home in the first round against Troy (7-3) on Friday at 7 p.m.

The last time Newport Harbor opened the postseason at Davidson Field was eight years ago. The school went on to reach the first of two straight Division VI title games.

The Sailors are back in the same playoff division, which changed its name to the Southwest six years ago. Truxton believes Newport Harbor can make a deep playoff run. No longer is the program in the arduous Pac-5 Division, where the Sailors won just one game in four playoff appearances in six seasons.

"Now, we have a real shot to win in the playoffs," Truxton said. "At first, I was kind of bummed that our league switched divisions before the year because I wanted to compete at the highest level."

Truxton played on another level last week. The second-half stats Truxton produced — seven catches for 161 yards and three touchdowns — are worthy of a notable night.

Finishing with 216 yards receiving is incredible. He was 24 yards away from cracking the Orange County all-time top-10 list for single-game receiving performances.

That is how dominant Truxton was against the Griffins. The secondary just couldn't slow down the 5-foot-11, 155-pound Truxton, whose favorite receiver is DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Not even Jackson, who played football at Long Beach Poly, posted the kind of numbers Truxton did against Los Alamitos. Jackson faced the Griffins in the CIF Southern Section Division I title game eight years ago and led the Jackrabbits to a 21-6 victory.

Just as Jackson did as a two-way standout against Los Alamitos back then, Truxton, playing cornerback, intercepted a pass.

On offense, Truxton burned Los Alamitos on 15-, 62- and eight-yard touchdown catches. He said the longest score was the hardest and it tied the game at 14-14 early in the fourth quarter. He caught the pass on the 37, near the sideline, before putting a move on a defensive back on the 27, and then cutting inside to find the end zone.

His final score, coming on an eight-yard pass, allowed the Sailors to go for two points and tie the game at 28-28 with 20 seconds left to play. During the eight-play, 69-yard scoring drive, Truxton caught three passes for 42 yards.

Truxton was the receiver Norris went to as the offense began on its 31 with 64 seconds left.

"We got the two-minute offense down and Cole ran it flawlessly against Los Alamitos," Truxton said of his sophomore quarterback, who finished with 335 yards and four touchdowns on 23-of-34 passing, with an interception. "He has done well [since taking over after starter Zach Wade broke his foot in the second game of the season].

"I'm very excited to have him this year and also next year. He's just getting better every game."

Twitter: @DCPenaloza


Quest Truxton

Born: Sept. 21, 1996

Hometown: Newport Beach

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 155 pounds

Sport: Football

Year: Junior

Coach: Jeff Brinkley

Favorite food: Cheesesteak

Favorite movie: "Friday"

Favorite athletic moment: "My first touchdown on varsity this year."

Week in review: Truxton finished with 12 receptions for 216 yards and three touchdowns in the Sailors 31-28 come-from-behind overtime victory against Los Alamitos in a Sunset League game.

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