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CdM rolls into state championship game
COSTA MESA – Corona del Mar is the second team in Orange County football history to win 15 games in a season. The Sea Kings will try to make it 16 next week.
They beat Nordhoff of Ojai, 24-8, on Saturday in the CIF State Division 3 South Regional Championship Game at Orange Coast College. That makes Corona del Mar 15-0. St. Margaret's was 15-0 in 2008.
The Sea Kings advanced to the CIF State Championships Bowl Games, in which they will play Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton (13-1) in the Division 3 state final Saturday at noon at StubHub Center in Carson.
Sacred Heart Prep was a 42-7 winner over El Cerritos on Saturday in the North Division 3 game.
Corona del Mar held an opponent to single-digit scoring for the eight time this year. The Sea Kings have four shutouts.
Sea Kings senior quarterback Luke Napolitano threw for 157 yards and a touchdown and ran for a touchdown. The touchdown pass covered 37 yards to junior receiver Bo St. Geme, who had nine catches for 115 yards.
St. Geme anticipated that he and Napolitano would team up for a big game.
“We knew we were going to have some openings on the outside,” St. Geme said. “He knew where I was going to be and found me.”
Matt Deverian returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter that made it 10-0. The Sea Kings built their lead to 24-0 in the fourth quarter. Nordhoff scored with 2:10 left.
Nordhoff, CIF-SS Northwest Division champion, finished 13-2. Rangers coach Tony Henney was impressed by the Sea Kings.
“They don't make a whole of mistakes and they don't have a weakness,” Henney said. “There's nothing there you can pick on. We made some mistakes but they forced the mistakes so you have to give them the credit.”
Corona del Mar scored on its first possession. After getting the ball on its 33-yard line when Robby Hoffman blocked a punt, Corona del Mar finished a 17-play drive with a 32-yard field goal by Jason Neiger for a 3-0 lead with 4:39 left in the first quarter.
On Nordhoff's following possession, Deverian nabbed his pick-six.
Corona del Mar got another interception by Charlie Griffin when the other Sea Kings' safety, Hugh Crance, tipped a pass. The Sea Kings were unable to convert that turnover into points. A Corona del Mar double pass that netted 48 yards was erased when it was ruled the Sea Kings' Cole Collins launched the second pass from beyond the line of scrimmage.
Corona del Mar made it 17-0 in the third quarter on Napolitano's touchdown pass to St. Geme and increased the lead to 24-0 on Napolitano's 11-yard touchdown run with 3:50 remaining.
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