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JOSH BARBER, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Huntington Beach's Payton Marlow tackles Newport Harbor's Cole Kinder as he rushes during the first quarter of a Sunset League game Friday night at Huntington Beach.

Newport Harbor makes clutch plays to drop Huntington Beach

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

HUNTINGTON BEACH – Newport Harbor defeated Huntington Beach, 33-27, in overtime in a Sunset League matchup Friday, handing the Oilers their first home loss of the season.

Both teams are 1-1 in league play, 3-4 overall.

With a minute left in a 27-27 game, Newport Harbor lined up to punt. The snap sailed over the head of punter Riley Blake, giving the Oilers the ball at Newport Harbor’s 27-yard line.

It looked all but over for the Sailors, as Huntington Beach needed only a field goal to win.

The Sailors defense responded, however, allowing 1 yard on three downs.

Junior kicker Fletcher Wilson lined up for a 36-yard field goal to win the game for the Oilers, but he missed wide right, sending the game into overtime.

The Oilers started overtime with the ball at the Sailors’ 25-yard line. On the second play, Kobe Benter hit Oilers junior quarterback Kobee Lagarde as he threw, causing the pass to sail straight up, and senior linebacker Dalton Rosene intercepted it.

“It was big, great play,” Newport Harbor coach Jeff Brinkley said. “Unfortunately the ball’s dead right there (by rule); he would have taken that back (for a touchdown).”

The Sailors took over at the 25 yardline per the tiebreaker rules, and junior running back Kole Kinder took it from there with three rushes for 24 yards.

“Anytime you go on defense first, and you hold the opponent, it gives you that spark,” Brinkley said.

That spark showed when almost the entire Sailors offense pushed Kinder forward for an extra 7 yards, down inside the 1-yard line.

From there, junior quarterback Michael Bonds got behind his offensive linemen and pushed the ball across the goal line, giving the Sailors the victory.

Oilers senior running back Hunter Simmons had 319 yards rushing. However, the Sailors defense made a strong stand against him in the fourth quarter.

“(Our defensive) coaches had a couple tweaks up front,” Brinkley said.

Bonds threw for 277 yards on 25 of 38 passing with two touchdown passes and one interception. Kinder rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns.


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