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Fryer: Corona del Mar could have long run

OCVARSITY.COM

MISSION VIEJO – Corona del Mar has played five games. The Sea Kings might have 11 more remaining.

They are 5-0 after beating Capistrano Valley, 43-14, Friday night. That's an impressive win for two reasons. First, Corona del Mar kept the intensity high after last week's emotional victory over chief rival Newport Harbor in the “Battle of the Bay,” the Sea Kings' first victory in the series since 2006. Second, Capistrano Valley is in a higher division, the Southwest Division, and is considered a league-championship contender in a pretty good league, the Sea View.

Corona del Mar has a bye week then begins defense of its Pacific Coast League championship with a home game Oct. 11 against Irvine. The Sea Kings might go 5-0 in league, which would make them 10-0 going into the playoffs in the Southern Division, which they have won two years in a row.

Garden Grove looks like Corona del Mar's most-formidable competition in the Southern Division, but the Sea Kings likely are good enough to go 4-0 in the playoffs for a third straight Southern Division title.

A 15th game? That would be in the CIF Southern California Regionals in mid-December. If Corona del Mar gets that far, it would play a 16th game, in the Regionals Division 3 game, the winner of which would advance to the CIF State Championships the following week.

Corona del Mar is No. 2 in Division 3 South rankings, behind Monrovia.

St. Margaret's might be on the way to the state playoffs, too. The Tartans are 4-0 after beating Laguna Beach on Friday. They are ranked third in South Division 4.

Many other county teams made big strides during this Week 4.

Fullerton beat the best team it has played so far, San Juan Hills, to improve to 5-0. The Indians have a bye next week and then play their Freeway League opener Oct. 11 against league favorite La Habra.

The game of the night was at Valencia High, where El Dorado beat Esperanza in overtime in a Century League opener. Geraldo Perez nailed a 40-yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime. El Dorado running back Mark Parsons scored in the overtime, his fifth touchdown of the night, and the Golden Hawks got a 37-31 win that has to raise their confidence and their chances at a playoff berth.

El Toro's passing game was in prime shape Friday night. Chargers quarterback Trey Tinsley and county leading receiver Dominic Collins had the telepathy going as they led El Toro to a 42-35 win over Villa Park.

Century has had plenty of rough starts, and difficult seasons. The Centurions are 4-0 after beating Santa Ana city rival Saddleback.

There are not as many attractive games on next week's schedule. Many teams will take their bye weeks.

But there are two good ones: JSerra at Trabuco Hills next Friday; and Servite against state No. 1 De La Salle of Concord on Saturday at Santa Ana Stadium.

JSerra won one of those “we survived” games, a 28-12 victory over Dana Hills. That's a good team JSerra beat.

But JSerra's play Friday night would not be good enough to beat Santa Margarita or Servite, two Trinity League rivals JSerra likely would have to beat to get to the playoffs.

The bye week gives players a break, and a chance to heal injuries. Some players won't be coming back from theirs.

It's always sad when an athlete gets a season-ending injury. It's worse when the athlete is a senior.

Beckman senior quarterback Quinn O'Dell is out for the season because of a broken fibula suffered last week. Woodbridge senior running back Austin DeFreitas, who rushed for 2,111 yards and 21 touchdowns last year, is done because of a torn ACL.

Their seasons were cut short, sadly.

Corona del Mar's season just might be joyfully long.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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