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Corona del Mar comes up big in fourth quarter
IRVINE – For three quarters Friday, it was hard to tell which team was a three-time defending CIF champion with 17 straight Pacific Coast League wins and which hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2007.
In the end, Corona del Mar extended its streak to 18 with a 42-21 win over host University in a game that was tied at 21 in the fourth quarter and came down to a daring onside kick by the Trojans.
University (7-1, 2-1) scored late in the third quarter on an 18-yard Neil Boudreau touchdown pass to Alex Pourdanesh to tie the game. The Trojans then tried an onside kick that bounced through several hands before CdM’s Teddy Barber recovered.
Corona del Mar (6-2, 3-0) seized the momentum. Chase Garbers threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Tae Le on a third-and-14 play on the ensuing drive to make it 28-21.
The Sea Kings forced a turnover on downs, drove 72 yards to score again on a Jaydin Moses 2-yard run with 1:25 left, and punctuated the win when Blake Kormos returned an interception 30 yards on the next play.
Corona de Mar coach Dan O’Shea had nothing but praise for University, which was 3-32 in league play the last seven seasons and last had a winning season in 2007 before turning the program around this fall.
“They’re as well-coached a team as I’ve seen,” O’Shea said. “Their offense gave us fits. They did things we didn’t expect.”
CdM also did things University didn’t expect. A program that has thrived on its short passing game went to the run behind Moses, who had 192 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. Garbers was 11 of 14 for 118 yards and three touchdowns.
“You’re playing to win,” University coach Mark Cunningham said of the onside kick. “We knew we had to take chances. I think at the end we made them respect us.”
On CdM’s third possession, Moses had inside runs of 17, 24 and 12 to get into the red zone, then Garbers capped the drive with a 2-yard plunge.
University countered with a 20-yard run by Alex Pourdanesh from punt formation and a 42-yard run by Sam Winder on the next play to get to the CdM 2-yard line, with quarterback Neil Boudreau scoring from there.
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