|Corona del Mar defeats Garden Grove for Southern championship|
Corona del Mar defeated Garden Grove 35-10 to win back-to-back championships in the CIF Southern Division. Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCVarsity.com
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Amies happy with his haul: one title, part of record
ANAHEIM – Corona del Mar kicker Grif Amies raised his hands and watched, sure that his 57-yard attempt would clear the crossbar to break the state record. It landed about a yard short.
That didn't cause the senior to drop his arms Saturday afternoon.
"I wanted (the record) really bad," said Amies, eagerly awaiting the postgame celebration with his teammates after Corona del Mar's 35-10 victory against Garden Grove in the CIF-SS Southern Division championship at Angel Stadium. "More importantly, I just wanted to win CIF for my team."
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Amies connected on a 43-yarder, his 22nd field goal tying the single-season state record set by Chris Sailer of Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks in 1994. Amies turned and high-fived his holder before it even split the uprights.
"I knew it was going in right when I hit it," Amies said. "When I made the kick, I felt like all my hard work had paid off. I've been kicking for about 10 years."
For a while, it didn't look as if Amies would get an opportunity to kick a field goal Saturday, as a number of close calls seemed to tease the senior.
He watched as Corona del Mar went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line and scored a touchdown in the first quarter. He saw the Sea Kings fumble at the Garden Grove 2-yard line in the third quarter. He remained a bystander when they converted a third-and-5 at the Garden Grove 21 later in the quarter, resulting in another touchdown.
Amies was unfazed.
"I wasn't worried at all," he said.
Amies actually tied the record in the second quarter, connecting on a 23-yard attempt with less than a minute remaining. But a roughing the kicker penalty gave the Sea Kings a first down.
With a half left to play and the game still in reach, Corona del Mar coach Scott Meyer had no choice but to take the points off the board.
"I know Grif," Meyer said. "He's more happy to have that CIF ring than the record. We're here to win so we're going for the seven. We would have loved to get it for him, but we're here to win the championship."
The Sea Kings lined up to kick a field goal a few plays later, on third-and-goal from the 6 and seven seconds remaining in the half. Garden Grove then called a timeout to try to ice Amies, prompting Meyer to take one more shot at the end zone.
The decision paid off when receiver Troy Reese made a spectacular catch on a jump ball in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
"It works," Amies said. "I was happy with that."
Late in the fourth quarter, Sea Kings defensive back Barrett Barbado intercepted Garden Grove in the Argonauts' territory. After converting a third-and-8, Corona del Mar downed the ball to run off the final minute of game clock.
Amies didn't hesitate to celebrate.
"It would be great if I did it, but more important I just wanted to win CIF," Amies said. "I'm glad I got that accomplished."
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