Two-minute Drill: Battle of the Bay takes center stage


•The Newport Harbor High Sailors' next game is against another defending CIF Southern Section champion. And they are familiar with these Sea Kings.

Newport Harbor (1-1), ranked No. 6 in the Southwest Division, plays rival Corona del Mar (3-0) in the Battle of the Bay at Orange Coast College on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Sailors have won the last six games against CdM in the annual game. Newport Harbor holds a 38-13 edge in the series.

CdM, the defending two-time CIF Southern Section Southern Division champion, is ranked No. 1 in the Southern Division.

•Newport Harbor gave Jeff Brinkley his 250th career win as a coach in dramatic fashion.

The Sailors came back late, upsetting defending CIF Southern Section Northern Division champion Palos Verdes, 34-33, at Davidson Field last week.

Brinkley, who improved to 250-147-7, is one of 23 high school coaches who have won 250 games in California.

Brinkley, in his 36th season as a head coach, has spent 28 years in charge at Newport Harbor, where he is 221-100-3. His 29 other wins came as coach of Norwalk Excelsior and Norwalk.

•Newport Harbor's Quest Truxton caught two touchdown passes and set up two touchdowns with key returns on a punt and kickoff.

The kickoff return helped Newport Harbor take the lead for good against Palos Verdes.

The senior returned the kickoff 42 yards, putting the Sailors near midfield with 62 seconds left to play. On first down, Truxton made an unbelievable 32-yard grab on the sideline, giving him seven catches for 152 yards.

The offense took the lead two plays later on running back Riley Gaddis' one-yard touchdown run with 45 seconds to go.

•Two areas concerned Brinkley, breakdowns on special teams and holding onto the ball.

The Sailors gave up a 43-yard punt return midway through the first quarter, setting up Palos Verdes' first touchdown. They also gave up a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Quarterback Cole Norris lost the ball twice near the Sailors' 20-yard line without being hit. Norris said the ball slipped out of his hands. The first time, it didn't hurt Newport Harbor. The second time, Palos Verdes scored a touchdown and went ahead, 27-21, late in the third quarter.

— David Carrillo Peñaloza


•Corona del Mar High's school-best winning streak is now at 13.

The Sea Kings held on to defeat El Toro, 24-21, at Trabuco Hills High last week.

The victory gave CdM (3-0), ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division, its first against El Toro in 15 years.

The difference in the game came down to each team's kicker.

CdM's Jason Neiger made his 42-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, giving the Sea Kings a 17-14 lead.

At the end of the game, El Toro's Aaron Ball had his potential game-tying 30-yard field-goal try blocked by Brett Greenlee.

•The Sea Kings have a chance at starting 4-0 for the first time in 24 years. To do it, CdM has to get past a program that has owned the Sea Kings.

Newport Harbor always seems to get in the way of CdM winning its first four games of the season.

The Sea Kings play host to the Sailors (1-1) in the Battle of the Bay at Orange Coast College on Friday at 7 p.m. They last beat the Sailors in 2006 and they only have six wins against Newport Harbor in the last 25 years.

"We're going to give it a shot," said Coach Scott Meyer, whose team in the past two matchups has come close to knocking off Newport Harbor, before losing 27-26 in 2012 and 29-26 in 2011.

The Sailors are the lone program to have beaten Meyer twice. Meyer, in his third year with CdM, is 27-4. The other two setbacks came against Capistrano Valley in a nonleague game in 2012 and against Beckman in a Pacific Coast League game in 2011.

•CdM tailback Cole Martin is No. 3 in Orange County in rushing yards with 455.

The junior hit the 100-yard mark last week, giving him at least 100 yards in each of the first three games of the season.

— David Carrillo Peñaloza


•Without its star player, Costa Mesa High dropped its home opener.

The Mustangs lost to Katella, 21-16, at Jim Scott Stadium last week.

Oronde Crenshaw, the team's running back, middle linebacker and kick returner, sat out the game with a right high ankle sprain, a bone bruise on top of his foot and an Achilles' heel issue. Coach Wally Grant said his senior might not return this week, when Costa Mesa (1-2) plays Los Amigos (1-1) at Bolsa Grande High on Friday at 7 p.m.

Los Amigos will be the second straight ranked opponent in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division poll to face the Mustangs. Los Amigos is No. 8 and Katella was No. 5 last week.

•The Mustangs also played without senior Quinton Bell, a linebacker and wide receiver, for the third straight week.

Bell is nursing a hip-flexor injury. He stood next to Crenshaw on the sideline.

"Not having their speed hurt us," Grant said. "Having their speed, I think we have some edges that they would've got and they would've given us a few more yards."

Grant said Bell's return date is up in the air.

Mason Mataafu, a sophomore filling in for Crenshaw, rushed 16 times for 75 yards and a touchdown.

•In 11 meetings with Katella, Costa Mesa has only won once.

•Costa Mesa lost the field position battle for much of the first half.

The Mustangs' average start during their first five possessions was their 16, while Katella began near midfield twice and on Costa Mesa's 31 once.

The one time Costa Mesa began in Knight territory was with 63 seconds left before halftime. And the Mustangs managed to get their first points on the night on Cameron Curet's 38-yard field goal with one second left in the first half.

•It took the Mustangs 12 minutes and 11 seconds to record a first down against Katella.

— David Carrillo Peñaloza


•Sage Hill School football coach J.R. Tolver liked the way his team competed in Friday's 42-7 nonleague loss to Capistrano Valley Christian on Friday night at San Clemente High.

Defensively, the Lightning recovered a muffed punt and also recovered a fumble in the Eagles' end of the field in the first half. But they didn't have a lot to show for it, as they were down 21-0 to Capo Valley Christian at halftime.

The offense committed no turnovers in the first half but struggled to move the ball. Sage Hill (1-2) had just 24 yards of total offense before the intermission.

The no turnovers part didn't last long, either, as Sage fumbled the second-half kickoff return, leading to Capo Valley Christian's fourth touchdown.

•Tolver knew that Capistrano Valley Christian had good athletes. The senior and sophomore combination of Sam and Ben Sukut were certainly two of them.

Ben Sukut had a 55-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage. Plays like these are why Tolver said Sukut already has a scholarship offer from his alma mater, San Diego State.

•Tolver challenged his players after the loss, saying they needed to go into Academy League play with at least a .500 record.

That would mean winning at least two of the next three games — at Escondido Charter on Friday, at home against Classical Academy on Sept. 27 and Silver Valley on Oct. 4.

The Academy League opener is at rival St. Margaret's on Oct. 11.

Escondido Charter is a program that the Lightning will be playing for the first time.

— Matt Szabo


•The team programs at Estancia High's home opener against Ocean View on Thursday night still had the 2012 rosters in them.

That could be confusing, especially since there aren't a lot of returning players for the Eagles, and just one returning starter.

But the young team stepped up for an impressive 41-14 nonleague victory over the Seahawks, as Estancia avoided its first 0-2 start in six years.

The Eagles set the tone on the opening kickoff return, when Tyler Thomas' big hit led to a fumble that Ronnie Urquiza recovered.

Starting its opening drive at the Ocean View 30-yard line, Estancia was in the end zone five plays later on a one-yard touchdown run by junior running back Christian Laurent.

"We got the ball on the plus-side of the field," Coach Mike Bargas said. "It takes a lot of heat off [the offense], because they don't have to drive it right at the beginning of the game. We made some things happen on special [teams] and on defense, and that's huge."

Bargas credited his defensive coordinator, who happens to be his younger brother Chris, as well as linebackers coach Chris Flores.

"They schemed this thing up nicely," Mike Bargas said.

•The Eagles were able to effectively run the ball with Laurent. The shifty running back, a junior transfer from Edison, had another big game.

He ran for 222 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries. Through two games, he has 350 yards rushing.

And sophomore quarterback Connor Brown was able to get into a groove as well, completing his first seven passes in the first half. They went to four different receivers: Tyler Thomas, Dalton O'Daly, Indiana Taylor and Devon Jackson.

"We're not real tall, but we've got a bunch of bowling balls out there," Bargas said. "It was good. These guys had confidence in themselves, and we didn't have to open up our entire package because the little things were working. And even our pure JV guys were running hard."

Sophomore Sam Cruz had 55 yards rushing, including a 38-yard run and a seven-yard touchdown scamper.

•Estancia now heads into a tough part of its schedule, playing at Irvine on Friday before playing host to University on Sept. 27.

The Eagles have had trouble with Pacific Coast League opponents from Irvine in the past. They're 1-7 in nonleague games against Irvine schools since 2010, the lone win being a 43-27 victory over Northwood in 2011.

— Matt Szabo

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