•A record day turned in by both junior quarterback Cole Norris and senior wide receiver Quest Truxton saved Newport Harbor High's season last week.
Norris passed for 474 yards and five touchdowns, both Newport Harbor single-game school records, and Truxton caught 14 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns, all three are Newport Harbor single-game records.
The duo led the Sailors to a 49-48 upset of top-seeded La Habra in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division playoffs at Davidson Field.
Newport Harbor (7-5) reached the semifinals for the first time in eight years because of Norris and Truxton, who finished outside of the Orange County top-10 list for single-game passing yards and receiving yards, respectively.
The Sailors get to play host to Fullerton (10-2) in the semifinals on Friday at 7 p.m.
Norris, who completed 36 of 63 passes, was in a rhythm all evening with Truxton, especially on the Sailors' final drive.
With the Sailors down, 48-42, they took over on their 19 with 2 minutes left. Norris went to his favorite target, Truxton, four times on the final drive. They only hooked up twice, but both proved to be huge.
The first time, Norris, with the Sailors facing a fourth-and-five on their 39, completed a 22-yard pass to Truxton.
Norris' final pass went to Truxton. Norris threw a strike to Truxton near the pylon and Truxton hauled it in with two hands, capping the nine-play, 81-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown grab. The Sailors tied the game at 48-48 with 50 seconds left. Michael Schultz' extra-point put them ahead, 49-48.
Truxton ended up catching one more pass. This time as a cornerback, as he picked off a Hail Mary pass near the goal line as time expired.
•When Coach Jeff Brinkley says the Sailors' upset of La Habra is one fans will be talking about for years, you know it was one of his most memorable victories during his 28 years at Newport Harbor.
For the first time in 21 years, Brinkley's Sailors stunned a No. 1 seed in the CIF Southern Section playoffs. The other time was against Riverside Rubidoux in the quarterfinals of the 1992 Division IV playoffs. That same year, Brinkley led Newport Harbor to its first section championship game.
•Newport Harbor is only the second school since 2002 to prevent La Habra (10-2) from qualifying for the semifinals.
La Habra had won six section titles in the last 11 years.
•Newport Harbor has enjoyed quite a bit of success under Brinkley in semifinal matchups, going 7-2.
The Sailors are looking to make their eighth section finals appearance, all under Brinkley, in school history. To get there, they have to knock off another Freeway League team.
Fullerton, which handled Los Alamitos, 21-7, in the quarterfinals, placed third in the Freeway League. Fullerton is the lone Freeway League team in the semifinals. The other three teams are from the Sunset League, Newport Harbor, third-seeded Edison and Huntington Beach.
Edison meets Huntington Beach on Friday at Orange Coast College at 7 p.m. The winner advances to the finale to play the winner of Newport Harbor and Fullerton.
The last time Newport Harbor played Fullerton was in 1982. Fullerton leads the series against the Sailors at 21-7-1.
•Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar are each in the semifinals of their respective divisions.
The only other time the Back Bay schools qualified for the semifinals in the same year was in 1992, when Newport Harbor and CdM squared off in the Division IV playoffs.
— David Carrillo Peñaloza
CORONA DEL MAR
•Members of the Corona del Mar High football team had some personal belongings stolen from the locker room at Bolsa Grande High prior to their CIF Southern Section Southern Division quarterfinal playoff game against Los Amigos.
The top-seeded Sea Kings (12-0) did not let it affect them on the field, where they turned in another dominant effort in a 42-0 victory that put them into the semifinals.
They learned after the game that they will avoid a rematch of their closest game of the season, a 14-7 Pacific Coast League win over Woodbridge on Oct. 18. Instead, CdM will play at Westminster (8-4) on Friday night at 7 p.m. The Lions topped Woodbridge, 21-14, in another quarterfinal game Friday.
CdM Coach Scott Meyer said Friday night that he has seen quite a bit of film on Westminster, which shared the Golden West League title with Segerstrom.
Westminster was forced to share the title as it lost to Loara, 38-35, in its league finale on Nov. 8.
"We played Loara last week," Meyer said, referring to the Sea Kings' 44-3 win in the first round of the playoffs. "Loara, they beat Westminster, but I sense that was a bit of a wake-up call for Westminster ... Their quarterback [Daniel Thomsen] is a real good kid, a physical runner and a good thrower. [They have a] good running back and I saw some pretty physical linemen."
•CdM is two wins away from defending its back-to-back Southern Division titles. If the Sea Kings can do it, their season should keep going.
As it has been for several weeks now, CdM remains the top-ranked team in CalHiSports.com CIF State Bowl Game Division III rankings. The teams behind CdM in the top five are Tulare Mission Oak (11-0), Agoura Hills Oak Park (11-1), Monrovia (11-1) and Garden Grove (12-0).
CdM also has moved into the CalHiSports state top 25 for the first time. The Sea Kings are ranked No. 24 in the state.
•The Sea Kings made life difficult for Los Amigos senior quarterback Anthony Magana on Friday night. He had success at times both running and passing the ball, but the defense constantly was in the backfield.
Robby Hoffman had CdM's lone interception, but Brett Greenlee and Luke Gardner also nearly had interceptions. Magana threw 25 times, but those accounted for just 11 completions and 80 yards.
Los Amigos was more successful running the football with Magana (45 rushing yards) and Moby Contreras (70 yards), though Magana's scramble of 27 yards on the Lobos' opening drive — their third play from scrimmage — was Los Amigos' longest play of the entire evening.
•Corona del Mar and Los Amigos are more than familiar at this point.
Friday's game marked the third straight year the teams had met in the CIF quarterfinals, with CdM winning easily each time. And CdM athletic director Don Grable taught at Los Amigos for 19 years, where he also coached basketball.
Los Amigos' public address announcer wished CdM and Grable the best of luck going forward after Friday's game ended.
— Matt Szabo