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CdM passing keeps Newport Harbor at bay
COSTA MESA – Midway through the fourth quarter of Friday night’s rivalry clash between Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor high schools at Orange Coast College, a Sea Kings snap flew well over the head of quarterback Chase Garbers. Though he had plenty of time to pick up the ball and make a play or, at the very least, lessen the damage, he fell on it for a 16-yard loss.
The next play, Garbers tossed a 61-yard touchdown bomb to Tae Le, the quarterback’s fifth and final touchdown during a 41-13 win marked by one explosive play after the next.
“We have a lot of receivers that are really good after the catch,” Sea Kings (3-1) receiver Billy Shaw said. “Our receivers are really good at catching the ball and not just curling up and taking the tackle. We like to plow through and keep on running. This is one of the best receiving groups I’ve ever played with.”
No receiver ran more than Shaw, who hauled in seven passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns, the last of which was likely the backbreaker for Newport (2-1) in a game that was closer than the score suggests.
On Corona del Mar’s opening possession of the fourth quarter, Garbers, who finished 12 of 14 for 276 yards, found Shaw across the middle, and Shaw had no interest in “curling up and taking the tackle.” He darted through a pair of defenders for a 57-yard touchdown, a final belated present for Shaw, whose birthday was Thursday.
“That one felt really good,” he said. “I knew that after that it was pretty much over. I can say that this is one of the best birthday presents ever.”
Newport did challenge the Sea Kings for the majority of the game. With 8 minutes, 37 seconds left in the third quarter, a fumble recovery was quickly followed by a 27-yard touchdown run from Cole Kinder to whittle the lead to 14-13.
“We had some guys get their heads down,” Shaw said. “But me and Chase and our whole (offensive) line told everyone, ‘This isn’t over. We need to go back and score right now.’”
Jaydin Moses ran in from eight yards on the next possession, and Shaw hauled in a 34-yard score on the next. Then came Shaw’s 57-yard TD and Le’s 61-yarder.
Corona del Mar has topped Newport four straight times, meaning an entire class of Sea Kings will graduate without suffering a loss to the Sailors.
“This,” Shaw said, “is one of the best days of my life.”