Two-Minute Drill: Mesa to be without key player


Quinton Bell helped Costa Mesa High put away Estancia in the Battle for the Bell rivalry game last week, returning an interception 49 yards for a touchdown late.

In doing so, Coach Wally Grant said his linebacker suffered a partially collapsed lung and will be out this week.

"After that interception, it was hard for him to catch his breath," said Grant, adding that Bell was breathing violently after the Mustangs beat Estancia, 31-18, at Jim Scott Stadium. "It's actually a quite common injury among adolescent boys. They just made sure and got all the air out of his lungs.

"He was walking around fine at school [on Tuesday]. They're going to look at him next week and we'll see if they clear him to play."

Bell, who also is a wide receiver, played in only his second game of the season for Costa Mesa (3-3, 1-0 in league). He missed the first four games with a hip flexor injury.

•Another senior standout Mustang who is hurting is Oronde Crenshaw.

Crenshaw went into the Battle for the Bell with nagging right foot injuries. After the game, he said played at about 85% and Costa Mesa received a 214-yard and one-touchdown rushing performance from Crenshaw to open Orange Coast League play with a victory.

"Poor kid," Grant said of his tailback. "I don't know how many times I ran him."

Crenshaw said he had to run hard for his school and family. This was the first time his father, Oronde Crenshaw Sr., a former Costa Mesa star, saw him play this season.

Dad, who flew in from Utah, watched his son carry the ball a season-high 35 times. The workload took a toll on Crenshaw, who went into the game with just 64 rushes in 10 quarters he had played in this year.

Crenshaw cramped up late in the third quarter, with the Mustangs up, 14-6. He returned at the start of the fourth and helped Costa Mesa get into field-goal range. Cameron Curet's 27-yard field goal pushed the Mustangs' lead to 17-12.

Crenshaw played most of the game, starting at running back, middle linebacker and on special teams. He hobbled off the field with Costa Mesa ahead, 24-18, and the offense on the Eagles' 41 with 3:48 left to play.

The Mustangs put the game away, scoring a touchdown three plays later.

"I just love my [guys blocking]," said Crenshaw, before naming the linemen, left tackle Adam JeyaRajah, left guard Edgar Molina, center Kirby Herrera, right guard Marco Zalpa, right tackle Neru Fesili, and tight ends, Joseph Quiroz and Corbin Pritchard.

"Now we have to focus on the next game in league."

The Mustangs play host to Godinez (3-3, 0-1) at Jim Scott Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m.

•Crenshaw amassed the most yards on the ground for Costa Mesa, but it was fullback Will Padilla with the most rushing touchdowns against Estancia.

Padilla scored twice, and he should've really had three touchdowns, if not for a holding call two minutes into the second half nullifying his 60-yard touchdown run.

Nevertheless, that run was impressive. Padilla, a 5-foot-11, 230-pound junior, broke free and then toward the Costa Mesa sideline, where two defenders tried to push him out of bounds. Padilla didn't budge near the 10-yard line. He carried the two players, along with other Eagles into the end zone.

All the hard work was for nothing because the penalty brought it back.

But Padilla's second touchdown came when it mattered most. With 2:46 left and the Mustangs up by six points and Crenshaw sidelined, Padilla ran away from the defense on a 15-yard touchdown run. He finished with nine carries for 56 yards.

•Three of the Mustangs' scoring drives went at least 12 plays, producing two touchdowns and a field goal.

On the game's opening drive, Costa Mesa drove 60 yards in 13 plays, eating up 4:07 off the clock. Padilla capped the drive by ramming into the end zone from four yards out.

The second drive chewed off almost six minutes off the clock. Crenshaw finished the 14-play drive with a 10-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one with 10:20 left in the first half.

•Costa Mesa won two of the three Battle for the Bell games against Estancia.

The Mustangs' freshmen team beat Estancia, 28-6, while the Eagles won the junior varsity game, 28-0.

— David Carrillo Peñaloza


•If there was any year for Estancia High to lose the Battle for the Bell game, this was the one.

Despite only have one returning starter from last year, the Eagles played Costa Mesa tough, before losing 31-18 at Jim Scott Stadium last week.

Estancia still leads the rivalry series against Costa Mesa at 27-19-1.

The Eagles' three-year run ended because of penalties, a turnover, and not being able to stop Costa Mesa's ground attack.

Estancia (2-4, 0-1 in league) was forced to go for two points, in hopes of trying to tie the game at 14-14 late in the third quarter because of a penalty right after its first touchdown late in the first half. Back then, the Eagles were unable to cut the lead in half because of an illegal substitution penalty, which forced them to convert a 26-yard extra-point kick. They missed.

And when they went for two points in the third quarter, after quarterback Connor Brown's 12-yard touchdown pass to Ronnie Urquiza, they failed again.

The Eagles trailed, 14-12, and they never got closer.

When they were down, 17-12, with 10:02 left to play, an Eagles' tipped pass was picked off by Bell. He returned it 49 yards for a touchdown, giving Costa Mesa a 24-12 lead.

"Those mistakes cost us and put is in bad positions," said Estancia Coach Mike Bargas, whose team plays at defending league champion Laguna Beach (4-2, 1-0) on Friday at 7 p.m.

"We've got to clean up our mistakes."

•The Eagles have two talented brothers in Christian Laurent and Dylan Laurent.

Christian, a junior tailback, rushed 31 times for 146 yards, and his younger brother, Dylan, made plays as a freshman cornerback.

Christian tried to keep pace with Crenshaw, who in the first half produced 175 rushing yards and each of the Mustangs' seven first downs.

Christian rushed for 72 yards in the first half and 74 in the second half. His second-half numbers topped Crenshaw's 39 yards.

Dylan was one reason why the Eagles, after halftime, slowed down Crenshaw, other than Crenshaw's right foot injuries and cramps. It seemed every time Crenshaw was about to break a big run, there was Dylan tripping him up.

One of his tackles, coming 3 1/2 minutes into the second quarter, prevented Crenshaw from busting an 81-yard touchdown run and putting the Mustangs up, 21-0.

The run gained 53 yards instead, and it took Crenshaw out for a play. He came back, but the Eagles' defense stopped Costa Mesa on a fourth-and-seven play on Estancia's 25-yard line.

•Two of Estancia's fourth-down stops helped the Eagles produce touchdowns.

Brown, on a three-yard quarterback sneak, cut Costa Mesa's lead to 14-6 with 1:41 left before halftime.

One of the stops came on the Mustangs' side with 4:12 to go in the third quarter. Costa Mesa, facing a fourth-and-three on its 42, went for it and lost.

A couple of minutes later, Brown went on to throw the first of his two touchdown passes and Estancia trailed, 14-12.

— David Carrillo Peñaloza


•Newport Harbor High and Los Alamitos played another nail biter last week.

The Sailors, as they always seem to do against the Griffins in Sunset League play, pulled out a 27-24 overtime win in a league opener at Davidson Field.

Newport Harbor and Los Alamitos went into overtime for the second straight year and the same team won again by three points.

The Sailors edged the Griffins for the sixth time in the last seven years after quarterback Cole Norris threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cory Stowell. The touchdown came after Newport Harbor's defense held Los Alamitos to a 22-yard field goal at the start of overtime.

Newport Harbor put the game away on its first chance on offense.

The Sailors (3-3, 1-0 in league) start league play with a big win, while handing Los Alamitos, ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division poll, its first loss of the season.

•Newport Harbor plays host to defending Sunset League champion Edison (4-2, 1-0) on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Sailors last prevailed against the Chargers in 1979. Since then, they have dropped the last eight meetings with Edison. Seven of those games have come under Newport Harbor Coach Jeff Brinkley's watch.

Brinkley and Edison Coach Dave White became coaches at their respective schools in 1986.

White led Edison to a CIF Southern Section Southwest Division title last year, his first section crown while in charge of the Chargers. Brinkley has won three section crowns with the Sailors, in 1994 (Division V), 1999 (Division VI) and 2005 (Division VI).

•Stowell, who starts at receiver and cornerback for the Sailors, affected the game on both sides of the ball.

The senior caught two touchdowns passes and intercepted two passes.

His first receiving touchdown, a 28-yard pass, gave the Sailors a 14-13 lead right before halftime.

His second touchdown catch, a 25-yard pass, clinched the game for Newport Harbor in overtime.

Both throws by Norris came on identical plays, passes over the middle.

Stowell's picks were almost the same as well.

His first pick came early in the second quarter while leaping and falling back on the Sailors' 38.

He intercepted the second pass on the Sailors' 33, but he was able to return it to near midfield with less than two minutes left in the first half. The turnover led to Newport Harbor taking its first lead, thanks to Stowell's 28-yard touchdown grab with 76 seconds left before halftime.

Stowell finished with seven catches for 121 yards.

•Chance Siemonsma and Garrett Hall each ran well for Newport Harbor, allowing the Sailors to stay balanced offensively.

Siemonsma rushed 16 times for 111 yards and Hall 12 times for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Los Alamitos struggled on the ground. Newport Harbor's defense stuffed the Griffins, allowing only seven yards on 22 carries.

With the Griffins forced to throw, the Sailors picked off three passes.

— David Carrillo Peñaloza


•Coming out of its bye, the Corona del Mar High football team showed no signs of slowing down on homecoming night. The Sea Kings, the top-ranked, two-time defending champions of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division, blasted No. 3 Irvine, 36-0, in a Pacific Coast League opener at Davidson Field on Friday night.

Although junior tailback Cole Martin (ankle) returned and had 102 yards rushing and a pair of scores, the Sea Kings (6-0) largely did it with their passing game. Senior quarterback Luke Napolitano had season-highs of 255 yards passing and three touchdowns.

Four different receivers — Cole Collins, Bo St. Geme, Connor Sage and Braden Brahs — had at least 40 yards receiving. Napolitano hit Brahs for a 14-yard score over the middle in the first half, before finding St. Geme for a pair of six-yard touchdown passes in the second half.

"They are really athletic," St. Geme said of Brahs and Sage, the Sea Kings' two tight ends. "It helps to be able to throw it to them, as well as our wide receivers."

•A fake punt helped the Sea Kings get things going in the second quarter, after getting just a field goal on their first two drives.

On fourth-and-four from the CdM 26-yard line, Barrett Barbado ran up the middle for a 26-yard gain. Four plays later, Martin found the end zone on a 10-yard run, giving the Sea Kings a 10-0 lead.

•Corona del Mar is favored to win its third straight Southern Division title. This year, the Sea Kings' season might not end with that victory.

CdM is the top-ranked team in the CIF State Bowl Game Division III South Rankings.

The Sea Kings have been top-ranked for two weeks now, since the former No. 1 team, Monrovia, lost to La Canada St. Francis, 48-14, on Oct. 4. Monrovia, the three-time defending Mid-Valley Division champions, dropped to No. 5 in the CIF State Bowl Game Division III South Rankings.

The three teams immediately behind CdM are Ojai Nordhoff (6-0), Wasco (5-1) and Tulare Mission Oak (6-0).

•CdM senior Marit Vangrow was selected as homecoming queen during halftime festivities.

— Matt Szabo

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