Two-minute drill


•Two-time defending CIF Southern Section Southern Division champion Corona del Mar High kicked off the season with a convincing 35-0 shutout of Pacifica at Davidson Field last week.

The Sea Kings, ranked No. 1 in the Southern Division poll, won their 11th straight game dating back to last season. The winning streak matches the program's longest in school history.

The last time CdM reeled off 11 consecutive wins was during the 1988 and '89 seasons.

The Sea Kings have a shot to break the mark when they travel to Laguna Hills this Friday. The game is the first of three straight road games for CdM.

•Cole Martin is going to be the Sea Kings' featured back after sharing the duties last season.

The junior showed he could handle it in the season opener, as he turned in a career night, rushing for 202 yards and three touchdowns.

"He's going to get a heavy dose of carries," CdM Coach Scott Meyer said of Martin, who carried the ball 18 times.

Martin produced 139 yards and two touchdowns in his first 12 carries, all in the first half.

Martin's backups, junior Hugh Crance and sophomore Anthony Battista, rushed for 45 and 43, yards respectively. As a team, CdM rushed 33 times for 304 yards.

"Our [offensive] line … blocked so hard," said Martin, referring to left tackle Quinn Bassler, left guard Michael Pierotti, center Giovanni Gentosi, right guard Brett Olson and right tackle Ian Redman.

•The Sea Kings' defense continues to create havoc for offenses.

Going back to last season, CdM has blanked four of its last five opponents. Seven players that started the team's Southern Division title game against Garden Grove last year return and many of those players made things difficult for Pacifica.

Junior defensive end Parker Chase, who started at times last year, registered four sacks, senior middle linebacker Alex Moore delivered big hits, finishing with nine total tackles, and senior safety Charlie Griffin broke up passes, including one in the end zone right before halftime.

The Sea Kings sacked Pacific quarterback Nick Howard five times, and only allowed him to complete 14 of 34 passes for 181 yards. In the second half, Howard was two of 14 for 21 yards.

Pacifica rushed 25 times and gained only 45 yards.



•Senior running back/linebacker Oronde Crenshaw was simply electric for the Mustangs in their 42-32 season-opening loss at Western on Friday night. Crenshaw had kickoff returns for 87, 87 and 89 yards, each one going for a touchdown. He had a total of 299 kickoff return yards on five returns, and also rushed for 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also led the Mustangs in tackles, with the public-address announcer seemingly calling his name on every other play.

Crenshaw's first rushing touchdown gave Costa Mesa its only lead of the game in the first quarter. It came from 13 yards out on a fourth-and-two play. Crenshaw met a Western defensive back at the goal line and simply barreled him over, eliciting "Ooh" sounds from the Western fans.

"I've been talking about Oronde for two years now," Costa Mesa Coach Wally Grant said. "He's a guy that I will showcase and showcase and showcase. You saw what he did tonight. I've run out of decorative words to describe him. He's just a fun kid to watch on both sides of the ball."

•Crenshaw's heroics weren't quite enough, however, to prevent the Mustangs from losing their 12th straight season opener. But 32 points represents the most points Costa Mesa has scored in an opener in that streak. Last year, the Mustangs were shut out by Western, 10-0.

•Another big-play athlete that Grant wished he had in the mix Friday, on both sides of the ball at receiver and linebacker, was 6-foot-4 senior Quinton Bell. Bell missed the game with a hip flexor injury he suffered during the Mustangs' scrimmage against Duarte.

Grant said that Bell's status was day-to-day, and it's possible that he could play in Saturday's game at Garden Grove Santiago.

However, Grant emphasized that the big thing was to get him healthy for league play, which begins with the Battle for the Bell game on Oct. 11.

"We'll see, but I'm not going to rush him," Grant said. "If I have him by league, I'm a happy man."



•Sage Hill continued its losing ways, falling to Calvary Chapel, 19-7, at Estancia High last Thursday. The setback is the 13th straight for the Lightning, the program's worst stretch in school history.

The last time Sage Hill won a game was on Oct. 28, 2011, when it defeated Inglewood Animo Leadership, 42-7.

The Lightning can end the long skid on Friday, when the team plays host TO Fairmont Prep. Sage Hill has enjoyed success against Fairmont Prep, defeating the Huskies in three of the past four seasons.

•Sage Hill Coach J.R. Tolver and his wife, Marie, had their second child in as many years.

Marie gave birth to Gregory Tolver III. She had Leo last October and Tolver had to miss Sage Hill's Academy League opener against Brethren Christian because of the birth.

Gregory III was born on Aug. 25. The Lightning kicked off this season four days later, allowing Tolver to coach.

•Despite losing again, Sage Hill had chances against Calvary Chapel in the second half, unlike in last year's season opener against the Eagles.

Sage Hill cut the deficit to 12-7 right before halftime on CJ McCord's one-yard quarterback sneak. The scoring drive took almost six minutes, covering 62 yards in 13 plays

The Lightning offense moved into Calvary Chapel territory during the team's first two drives in the second half, but Sage Hill produced zero points. The Lightning missed a 32-yard field-goal try in the third quarter, the second of two misses on the night. A deflected lateral pass early in the fourth quarter resulted in a 14-yard loss, forcing Sage Hill to punt at midfield.

"Very tough team," Calvary Chapel Coach Chris Cox said of Sage Hill, a team the Eagles blew out, 42-20, in 2012.

Cox, the former president of the Costa Mesa Pop Warner football program, is in his first season in charge of Calvary Chapel. He earned a victory in his varsity coaching debut.

Last year, Cox coached the lower-level programs at Calvary Chapel.

•Sage Hill played the first of two games against Calvary Chapel schools this year, the first from Santa Ana and the second from Downey.

Downey Calvary Chapel joined the Academy League this season. The Lightning play host to the league's latest member on Nov. 1.

The Academy League went from a four-team league to five with the addition of Calvary Chapel, which played eight-man football last season.

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