Corona del Mar High senior quarterback Ethan Garbers simply smiled when asked how he was feeling Friday night, after throwing eight touchdown passes in the Sea Kings’ season opener against Downey.
“Couldn’t be better,” Garbers said. “It’s football season.” Garbers and the Sea Kings offense certainly appeared to be in midseason form, as they opened a year of high expectations with a resounding 57-20 victory at Newport Harbor High.
Garbers, bound for the University of Washington, completed 23 of 27 passes for 480 yards and those eight touchdowns. The yardage and touchdowns were school records, breaking Garbers’ own marks set last year against Fountain Valley and Newport Harbor, respectively.
“We want to go 16-0 and win a state championship,” Garbers said of the Sea Kings (1-0), ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division 3. “It doesn’t matter if I throw 10 yards or 300, as long as we get the win. … We’ve got four receivers that can play [NCAA] Division 1 football and score on any play. I think we have the best receiving corps in the nation. Our offense is going to be unstoppable this year, and all the credit to the [offensive] line and all of the receivers.”
Sea Kings receiver John Humphreys, bound for Stanford, had seven catches for 167 yards. Senior Bradley Schlom had six catches for 80 yards and three scores for the Sea Kings, who return 10 starters on offense from last year’s Division 4 finalist.
Senior receiver Simon Hall added four catches for 160 yards and a touchdown, and University of Washington-bound senior tight end Mark Redman had five catches for 79 yards and another score.
Humphreys and Redman are each playing outside linebacker this year as well, and it was Humphreys who stopped the scramble of Downey quarterback Christopher Hernandez on the Vikings’ opening drive in the red zone.
Hernandez was tackled at the Sea Kings’ six-yard-line, a yard short of a first down. The Sea Kings then scored touchdowns on their first four possessions and opened a 35-7 halftime lead.