Most Viewed Stories
Beckman defeats Corona del Mar for league title
The Patriots capture the Pacific Coast League title for the first time in school history.
NEWPORT BEACH -- Beckman's seventh victory in a row was arguably its best.
The Patriots captured the Pacific Coast League title for the first time in school history, defeating Corona del Mar, 42-37, on Friday night at Newport Harbor High.
There were four return touchdowns (two interceptions, one punt and one kickoff), a 77-yard touchdown run, an onside kick recovery, six combined turnovers, and a 27-point fourth-quarter rally.
"It was a wild game," Beckman coach Ken Mushinskie said. "But it's because you have two good football programs going up against each other."
Senior running backs Jeff Kim and Brian Brooks combined for 279 yards on 41 carries, helping the Patriots (8-2, 5-0) to a lead that swelled to 32 points in the third quarter.
But it was Beckman's defense that set the tone early.
After Corona del Mar (8-2, 4-1) used a short field to take a 3-0 lead on a 36-yard field goal from Grant Garrett, the Patriots held the Sea Kings to only three first downs the rest of the half.
They also intercepted senior quarterback Brent Lawson four times, including a 50-yard return for a touchdown by James Kaprielian and a 35-yard pick six by linebacker Bryan Dewey. Entering the game Lawson had thrown seven interceptions in 191 pass attempts.
Prior to Dewey's return late in the third quarter, the teams combined for three touchdowns in 1:04.
Beckman quarterback Cameron Biedgoly powered in from 3 yards out to extend the Patriots lead to 28-3, but Cole Cottrell responded with a 90-yard touchdown return on the ensuing kick.
Brooks responded two plays later with a 77-yard run up the left sideline on a misdirection handoff from Kim.
After Dewey intercepted Lawson with 1:16 remaining in the third, it extended Beckman's lead to 42-10, giving them what looked like an easy route to a No. 1 seed in the CIF-SS playoffs.
However, CdM would not go down so easily.
Two touchdown runs by Erik Fisher, separated by 52 seconds after Connor Sage recovered a perfectly executed onside kick, cut the lead to 42-24.
Mushinskie said he felt like his team "let their foot off the gas" at that point.
And after the Sea Kings forced another three and out with 5:31 to go, Cottrell returned a punt 79 yards for his second score of the game, a career first.
"It was a little frustrating," Kaprielian said. "We had a little difficulty on special teams."
Cottrell, who's dubbed "Mr. Excitement" by his home announcer, wasn't finished. With less than a minute to go, he returned another punt 76 yards to set up Josh Giger's leaping touchdown catch from Lawson.
Garrett tried one more onside kick following the touchdown, but Beckman's Elijah Steen covered it at the 42 to close out the game.
"It's a special victory and I'm extremely proud of the boys," Mushinskie said.