By Brian Lichterman | Sports Editor
This week, the regular season wraps up for Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor football, but the season isn’t completely over yet. Last week, Newport harbor crushed the Marina Vikings 41-0 bringing their record on the season to 5-4-0, and Corona del Mar easily rolled over University 31-3 to up their record to an impressive 7-1-1. The only meeting between the schools this year was on Sept. 24, the Battle of the Bay, when the Sea Kings and Sailors squared off on Davidson Field and CdM came up short for their only loss of the year.
Last week, during their game against University, the Sea Kings scored on the first play of their first possession and never looked back. Mitch Garner sprinted 48-yards into the end zone for the first touchdown of the game.
Early in the second quarter, Kyle Sherburne blocked a punt to set up CdM at the University 28-yard line and Gardner punctuated the short march with a nine-yard touchdown pass to junior Josh Giger that made it 14-3 with 8:54 left in the second quarter. CdM’s tenacious defense and the struggling kicking game of the Trojans continued to give the Sea Kings a short field. After a 20-yard punt, CdM needed seven plays to drive 36 yards to make the score 21-3 with 4:40 left before halftime.
Cole Cottrell returned another punt five yards to the University 41-yard line late in the third quarter, which led to a 41-yard field goal by Andrew Boehm with 1:33 left in the third period. Two plays into the ensuing possession, senior inside linebacker Preston Risser returned an interception 19 yards to the Trojans’ six-yard line to set up the final score of the night, a one-yard touchdown plunge by junior John Swigert.
The Sea Kings looked sharp and clinched at least a share of the Pacific Coast League title. They can win the title outright for the first time since 1988 with a victory tonight at Tustin High School against Beckman. The Sea Kings are currently ranked No. 3 overall in the CIF Southern Section Division. A CdM loss tonight, combined with a Northwood win over University, would create a co-championship. Since Corona del Mar and Northwood tied, 29-29, a coin flip could decide the league’s No. 1 representative in the CIF playoffs.
In Newport Harbor’s second-to-last game last week, the Sailors shutout local rival Marina High School, 41-0. Their first offensive play of the game, a 75-yard touchdown pass from Austin Rios to Kellon Truxton, set the tone for the entire game. Rios finished the game with 207 yards through the air and 3 TDs, while Truxton finished with 5 catches for 125 yards and 2 scores.
Parker Norton also put some points on the board with his 59-yard interception return for a touchdown. In their last two games, the Sailors have only given up 7 points and have looked as tough as they have all season. The Sailors now control their own playoff destiny as a win over the Fountain Valley Barons tonight in Huntington Beach will secure Newport Harbor the 3rd playoff spot in the Sunset League.
With a lot of football still to play, a successful regular season is almost in the books for both Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor.