High School Football: CdM wins league

A firework randomly went off across the street from Davidson Field as the third quarter neared an end Friday night.

It was just a lone firework, but it still caused Corona del Mar High football announcer Gary Almquist to proclaim, "Disneyland comes to Newport Beach!"

The Sea Kings had all the fireworks anyone could need on the field. There will be bigger and more difficult goals in the coming weeks, but they sure knew how to celebrate winning its second straight Pacific Coast League title Friday night.

The Corona del Mar players jumped up and down spiritedly near the west end zone after posting a 41-0 victory over Beckman. They clinched at least a share of the league title, as well as the league's top designation for the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs since they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against second-place Irvine.

What's not to like these days for the two-time defending Southern Division champions? They added to their school-record winning streak by winning their 19th straight game overall, and ninth straight in league.

"The goal was a league title," CdM Coach Scott Meyer said. "We've got to just clean it up next week. It's senior night next week [against Northwood], so we want to have one more great night and go through our league with a perfect record, obviously.

"The seniors kind of set a goal of going undefeated. Obviously, we want to build momentum going into playoffs ... it would be a great goal for the guys [to go 10-0], but obviously we have some games down the road that we'd like to win as well."

CdM (9-0, 4-0 in league), the top-ranked team in the Southern Division, has been outright dominant in league. The Sea Kings have outscored their four opponents by a combined 126-10.

Behind an all-junior defensive line of Harrison Carter, Justin Hess, Mat Flores and Parker Chase, CdM shut down Beckman's running attack until garbage time late in the fourth quarter. The Patriots (4-5, 1-3) had 17 carries for 38 yards in the first half. Twenty-five of those yards came on one play, a run by Tyler Geurts.

"It feels so great," Hess said. "I mean, we've been winning all of these games together as a team. It's really exciting to keep the [19-game winning] streak alive and beat Beckman. They've kind of been our rivals in the past."

CdM opened the scoring on its first drive, as senior quarterback Luke Napolitano hit senior tight end Braden Brahs on a 13-yard touchdown pass over the middle.

The Sea Kings wouldn't score again until late in the half, on a nine-yard run by junior Cole Martin. But they added to the lead after an interception by junior Barrett Barbato with less than two minutes to go.

Barbato ran it back for a touchdown, but it was called back due to a penalty. The CdM offense went back to work.

Napolitano found William Hunter in the front-right corner of the end zone on a 17-yard touchdown pass, giving the Sea Kings a 20-0 halftime lead after Hunter, the kicker, added the point-after touchdown.

They extended it in the third quarter on a three-yard touchdown run by Martin and a one-yard touchdown by sophomore Anthony Battista. The final touchdown came on a four-yard scamper by backup quarterback Peter Bush, his second in two weeks.

Martin, who passed 1,000 rushing yards for the season in the first half, finished with 23 carries for 143 yards and the two touchdowns. Napolitano completed his first eight passes, finishing an efficient 16 of 22 for 187 yards and two scores.

The beat goes on for the Sea Kings, who also got an interception from junior Brett Greenlee and another pick from freshman Billy Shaw in the game's closing seconds.

"We're just really playing together as a team, playing hard," Hess said. "It's all really coming together this year."

Corona del Mar 41, Beckman 0

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Beckman 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 0

CdM 6 – 14 – 14 – 7 — 41

FIRST QUARTER

CdM – Brahs 13 pass from Napolitano (kick failed), 7:28.

SECOND QUARTER

CdM – Martin 9 run (Hunter kick), 3:08.

CdM – Hunter 18 pass from Napolitano (Hunter kick), 1:09.

THIRD QUARTER

CdM – Martin 3 run (Hunter kick), 5:24.

CdM – Battista 1 run (Hunter kick), 0:30.

FOURTH QUARTER

CdM – Bush 4 run (Hunter kick), 3:29.

INDIVIDUAL RUSHING

Beck – Geurts, 5-31.

CdM – Martin, 23-143, 2 TDs; Battista, 11-63, 1 TD.

INDIVIDUAL PASSING

Beck – Pilimai, 6-15-3, 33.

CdM – Napolitano, 16-22-1, 187, 2 TDs.

INDIVIDUAL RECEIVING

Beck – Aguilar, 1-12.

CdM – Collins, 5-83.

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