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Corona del Mar helps itself to thirds
WESTMINSTER – The Corona del Mar football team knows the road to the CIF-SS Southern Division final.
For the third consecutive season, that's the destination for Coach Scott Meyer and his team after the top-seeded Sea Kings (13-0) defeated fourth-seeded Westminster, 37-14, in a semifinal game Friday night at Westminster High.
The victory extends the Sea Kings' winning streak to 23 games. They have won two consecutive CIF titles, defeating Beckman, 14-13, in the 2011 and Garden Grove, 35-10, last year.
CdM again will meet Garden Grove in the final next Friday at Orange Coast College. The second-seeded Argonauts defeated Irvine, 49-27, in the other semi.
“Defense has been unbelievable all year long … the offense too,” Meyer said. “Start the game with a score, come out in the third quarter and get a score … we get up on teams and it helps our defense even more.
“It has been a great team run, especially the last few weeks.”
Through the first three playoff games, CdM has outscored its opponents, 123-17.
CdM led, 20-0, at halftime and opened the second half with a pair of touchdowns – a 63-yard touchdown run by Cole Martin and a 13-yard touchdown run from Anthony Battista – despite running just five plays.
The Golden West League champion Lions (8-5) finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter with Daniel Thomsen's 1-yard touchdown run and Humberto Maciel's 25-yard touchdown run.
The Sea Kings' ability to slow down the Thomsen-Maciel combination was a key factor in the victory.
“Our defensive guys made a few adjustments,” Meyer said. “You really have to play assignment football on that zone read stuff. Guys that had the quarterback played the quarterback and guys responsible for the (running) back had the back, so we did a pretty good job.”
CdM caught an early break on the game's opening drive when Westminster moved the ball from its 20 to the CdM 19. From there, the Lions had a 6-yard loss off of a bad snap and a 1-yard loss, forcing them to settle for a 32-yard field-goal attempt. The kick was no good and the Sea Kings took control.
“A lot of teams that we have played this year had gotten off to a big drive like that on the first drive,” CdM quarterback Luke Napolitano said. “Then our defense adjusts and figures it out.
“We don't really worry about that, we know our defense will come through.”
In the first half, the Lions had eight plays of negative yards.
Napolitano completed 12 of 15 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown for the Sea Kings. Martin rushed for 140 yards on 15 carries.
Chad Redfearn had a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter for CdM.
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