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CdM earns return trip to Southern final
IRVINE - Corona del Mar wanted a chance to defend its CIF-SS Southern Division title, but first the Sea Kings had to get past a Pacific Coast League rival.
Friday night, CdM did just that, defeating Woodbridge, 25-0, in the semifinals at Irvine High.
The Sea Kings used a stingy defense, a solid running game and an effective passing game to defeat the Warriors for the second time this year. CdM defeated Woodbridge, 33-16, on Oct. 26.
The victory sends top-seeded Corona del Mar (11-2) into the finals Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. at Angel Stadium against Garden Grove.
"We played Woodbridge earlier in the year and we have a ton of respect for them," CdM Coach Scott Meyer said. "We knew we would have our hands full. We were real pleased with the way we played."
It marked the third consecutive shutout for the Sea Kings in the playoffs.
"I'm so proud, we play such great team defense; there is no superstar," Meyer said. "Every guy does their job, and they do it pretty well."
Greg Williford led the defense with a 21-yard interception return for a TD in the second quarter to make the score 16-0.
Kai Wilson led the Sea Kings offense, scoring on a 49-yard run in the second quarter and a 28-yard scamper in the third quarter that put the Sea Kings ahead, 22-0. Wilson rushed for 186 yards on 17 carries.
"It's great momentum going into the championship game at Angel Stadium; it's a dream come true," Wilson said.
Woodbridge (7-6) was trying to get back into a CIF championship game for the first time since 1998.
But the Warriors chances of pulling off an upset all but ended on the Warriors' second series when starting quarterback Matt Callahan had to leave the game because of a rib injury.
"I was rolling right and I took a good shot in the ribs and it shook me up," Callahan said.
Callahan returned to the game with 7:33 left, but, by then, his team was trailing, 22-0.
Backup Michael Pritchett, a sophomore, replaced Callahan and passed for 63 yards with two interceptions.
"That's our leader on offense, so it hurts, but my hat is off to Corona del Mar," Woodbridge coach Rick Gibson said. "They deserve to be the champions."
Corona del Mar was able to hold the Warriors' leading rusher, Austin DeFreitas, to 72 yards. .
Grif Amies also contributed to the victory with field goals of 47 and 40 yards.
"It's tough, every week we felt we had the target on our back," Meyer said. "We played a tough nonleague, and our league is always very competitive, so we're very happy to get back with these guys. They deserve it."